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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 99-05-03
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, May 3, 1999
NEWS IN DETAIL
 US PRESIDENT TO MEET WITH CHERNOMYRDIN IN WASHINGTON
Washington, May 3 (MPA)United States President Bill Clinton is to meet with the Russian President’s special envoy for Yugoslavia Viktor Chernomyrdin in Washington, in an effort to reach a political solution to the crisis plaguing Kosovo. President Clinton will also receive Rev. Jesse Jackson who is making a triumphant return to the U.S. after having successfully mediated for the release of the three U.S. soldiers held captive by Serb forces. During his departure from Belgrade, Rev. Jackson asked President Clinton to accept the proposal made by Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic that they meet for direct talks. A.F.
 NATO REIGN DEEPENS, DARKNESS FALLS ON BELGRADE
Belgrade, May 3 (MPA)NATO aircraft destroyed the entire power supply system of Serbia when, in a nightly air raid, they bombed a power station south of Belgrade. Although electricity has been restored in most areas of Serbia, where television and radio stations went off air for a long period of time, while hospitals had to resort to their emergency power generators. A.F.
 GREEK TRANSPORTATION MINISTER AT FYROM TODAY
Skopje, May 3 (MPA)Greece’s Minister of Transportation Tasos Mantelis and the Ministry’s Undersecretary are to meet with FYROM’s President Kiro Gligorov during their two-day visit to Skopje.
Mr. Mantelis is heading a delegation of officials from Greece’s public and private enterprises, as well as deputies, in an effort to promote bilateral cooperation in the sectors of communications and transportation, aiming at the region's development and stability. A.F.
 THESSALONIKI HOSTS EXPATRIATE GREEK MEDIA CONFERENCE
Thessaloniki, May 3 (MPA)The first Greek Expatriate Mass Media Conference got underway in Thessaloniki yesterday, featuring the participation of Greek political leaders, academics, journalists and others. Macedonia-Thrace Minister Yiannis Magriotis addressed the conference and stated that Greece had given a warning to all international organizations that the war in Yugoslavia was not ethically just and did not create the preconditions for a long-term co- existence of peoples. World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) President Andrew Athens also addressed the participants and stated that he had noted the absence of a Serb lobby in the United States, which could have promoted the stance of the Serbs. The four-day event is being held under the auspices of Greece’s Ministry of Press and Media, Foreign Affairs and SAE, while it also has the support of the Macedonia- Thrace Ministry and the prefecture of Thessaloniki. A.F.
 GREEK PRESIDENT TO PAY VISIT TO ARMENIA ON MAY 11-13
Yerevan, May 3 (MPA)The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos will pay an official visit to Armenia on May 11-13 at the invitation of the republic's leadership.
Before arriving in Armenia the President will make an official visit to Georgia. While in Tbilisi, he will meet Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze, the parliament speaker and the foreign minister to discuss further development of cooperation between the two countries and regional issues. A.F.
 GREEK PRESIDENT TO PAY OFFICIAL VISIT TO GEORGIA ON MAY 10
Tbilisi, May 3 (MPA)The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos is to conduct a two-day official visit to Georgia on May 10, the first visit by a Greek president to Georgia after the Caucasian republic became independent.
The President will meet with his Georgian counterpart Eduard Shevardnadze, parliamentary speaker Zurab Zhvania, Foreign Minister Irakly Menangarishvili and other officials. Discussions will focus on issues of further development of cooperation between the two countries, as well as regional problems. A.F.
 UNESCO FIGHTS IMPUNITY OF CRIMES AGAINST JOURNALISTS
United Nations, May 3 (MPA)The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is celebrating the World Press Freedom Day under the slogan of “Struggle against the impunity of crimes against journalists.”
This Day was instituted by the UNESCO General Conference on May 3, 1991, coinciding with the adoption of the Windhoek Declaration, and is dedicated to informing the public about violations of the freedom of the expression of opinions.
This year’s main theme is violence against journalists; in many countries, killings, assaults and threats are methods used to muzzle journalists and, in most cases, those crimes go unpunished.
According to UNESCO, at least 20 journalists were killed in 1998 while on the job, while 500 journalists have been killed in recent years. Innumerable instances of violence, such as unfounded arrests, threats, attacks, persecution and even tortures are added to the list.
This problem prompted UNESCO member-states, at the latest General Conference in November 1998, to approve a resolution calling for accepting the principle of non- application of the statute of limitations to crimes perpetrated for the purpose of preventing the exercise of the right to the freedom of information.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, UNESCO Director- General Federico Mayor, and High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson are to gather in Bogota, Colombia, today, in order to bestow on Jesus Blancornelas, Mexican journalist and publisher, UNESCO’s World Prize for contribution to the press freedom cause. A.F.
 MPA PARTICIPATES IN HERMES TRADE EXPO THIS WEEK IN NEW YORK
Thessaloniki, May 3 (MPA)The Macedonian Press Agency is to participate at the 7th Annual Business Development Trade Show and Exhibition in the United States (Hermes Expo International 1999) , to be held on May 7-8 at the New York Hilton. The event is expected to give the opportunity to Greeks living on both sides of the Atlantic to consolidate their communication channels. This marks the first the MPA has the opportunity to take part in such an organized show, which will illustrate the agency’s multifaceted activities in the media sector, and especially its singular commitment to the Greek community abroad. This year’s event will also feature the participation of ventures from Albania, Romania and other Balkan countries. Greece’s Undersecretary of Sports Andreas Fouras will inaugurate the event and has expressed the hope that the participation of the General Secretariat of Sports and representatives of the Greek business sector will contribute to the further advancement of Greek products and services in the U.S., as well as to the promotion of Greece’s sports infrastructure, especially in light of the Athens-held Olympic Games of 2004. The Archbishop of America Spyridon will also attend the inauguration ceremony. Greek businesses interested in serving the needs of the Greek American community and establishing an initial strong foothold in the massive American market, the exhibition is certainly worth attending as a number of joint-venture seminars will be held, which can provide fertile ground for such investments. A.F.
 YUGOSLAV DELEGATION TO MEET WITH N. GREECE BUSINESSMEN
Thessaloniki, May 3 (MPA)A delegation from the Economic Chamber of Yugoslavia is to be in Thessaloniki on Wednesday, May 5, for a meeting with businessmen from northern Greece, in order to review the damages suffered by the sector from the conflict in Kosovo. Among the subjects to be discussed will be the difficulties faced by Greek manufacturers and businessmen who are active in Yugoslavia. The participants will brief one another on the consequences of the war, not only borne on the Greek businesses active in the neighboring country, but in Northern Greece's tourism industry and exporting - transporting ventures. A.F.
 ECONOMIC CONFERENCE HELD ON “DAY AFTER” KOSOVO CONFLICT
Athens, May 3 (MPA)The consequences borne on the Greek economy by the war in Kosovo are to be addressed in an economic conference today, hosted by the National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and which will feature the participation of forty-nine representatives from the country's banking and business sectors.
The participants will discuss the impact of the military operations in Yugoslavia and the plans for economic restructuring of the region after the crisis. Among those expected to attend the meeting are National Bank of Greece, Commercial Bank of Greece, Alpha Credit Bank, EFG Eurobank, Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, Bank of Piraeus, Thrace Paperworks, Delta Dairy, Asprofos, Medical Center, Intracom, the Federation of Greek Industries and chambers of commerce and industry.
Undersecretary of National Economy Alexandros Baltas is chairing the government delegation. A.F.
 TALBOT: CLINTON-MILOSEVIC MEETING IS UNLIKELY
Washington, May 3 (MPA)US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott believes that a meeting between US President Bill Clinton and President of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic is unlikely, as he said in an interview with the CBS television station yesterday. The head of the US administration is unlikely to be particularly willing to meet the Yugoslav leader, Mr. Talbott noted, adding that he was unaware of the US president's intentions to that effect, although he strongly doubted the possibility of the meeting. The US does not wish to conduct talks with Mr. Milosevic directly, but prefers to act with the mediation of third countries, including Russia, Mr. Talbott noted.
He pointed out that Mr. Milosevic' message to President Clinton allegedly containing a proposal for a meeting looks very much like a "propagandist trick." NATO has made it clear what we can do to stop the conflict right away. Above all, Belgrade shall have to comply with the proposals put forward by NATO, he said, adding that President Clinton will stop the bombardments only if Mr. Milosevic agrees to these terms. A.F.
 GREEK GOVERNMENT SALUTES WORLD PRESS DAY
Athens, May 3 (MPA)The Minister of Press and Media, and government spokesperson, Dimitris Reppas conveyed Greece’s undivided support and appreciation for journalists and stressed the importance of a non-aligned and independent media. Mr. Reppas said that by being independent, journalists will make a decisive contribution in shaping the public’s objective opinion and, ultimately, further strengthening the democratic nature of public and political life.
The Press Minister also added that there can be no constitutional freedom without freedom of the press, adding that the press does not merely carry out an informative function, but contributes substantively to the application of democracy, representing one of its components. A.F.
 EXPATRIATE GREEK JOURNALISTS SALUTE PRESS FREEDOM DAY
Thessaloniki, May 3 (MPA)By observing a moment of silence in memory of those journalists who lost their lives while on duty, the First Conference of the Federation of Expatriate Greek Journalists opened its second session this morning in Thessaloniki honoring the World Press Freedom Day.
In a written statement, the Federation’s chairman Dimitris Kastanas referred to the recent bombardment of the Yugoslav television station in Belgrade and said that the attack constitutes a severe blow to the freedom of press and information, as it escapes all military and political boundaries. “This tactic cannot be justified. Alas, if each time propaganda is detected media are bombarded or journalists killed.
“This act constitutes the most abhorrent form of terrorist action and every journalist, especially in the United States, has a duty to resist and fight against these types of military actions and mentalities that lead us to the Dark Ages.
“Propaganda cannot be addressed with violence, but, rather, through alternative methods of information.
The resort to violence implies inability and fear of dealing with the heart of the problem,” he said. A.F.
 FIRE RAGES THROUGH MT. OLYMPUS, ENGULFING MANY ACRES
Katerini, May 3 (MPA)Locals have joined the firefighters in a frantic effort to contain the fire that has been raging at Mt. Olympus since yesterday afternoon.
The fire, whose cause remains unknown, broke out in a forested area at an altitude of 1,800 meters. The region is accessed with difficulty and the firefighters need to travel great distances in order to approach the blaze. A.F.
 REV. JACKSON TELLS GREEK PRESS: WE NEED TO TRUST MILOSEVIC
Thessaloniki, May 3 (MPA)The Rev. Jesse Jackson, who successfully mediated for the release of the three U.S. soldiers held captive in Yugoslavia by Serb forces, told a Greek newspaper that the time has come for a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Yugoslavia.
“We need to be willing to see with our own eyes that Milosevic is ready to proceed to negotiations. Peace must be given a chance and we should not continue the war, for the sake of war,” he told the Athens daily Eleftherotypia. Commending on Greece’s stance towards the crisis, the Reverend stated that the country made a effort to break the chain of violence, but, it is a member of NATO and participates in its decisions. A.F.
 NEW POLL FINDS RULING PARTY HAVING CLIMBED NOTCHES UP
Thessaloniki, May 3 (MPA)An impressive shift has taken place in the public’s opinion of the ruling PASOK party as, according to the most recent poll, its popularity climbed to 25.6%, considerably higher than January’s 13.8%.
According to the Athens daily Ta Nea, Prime Minister Costas Simitis is also enjoying an increased amount of support, since his popularity has shot up to 45.1%, as opposed to January’s 24.8 percent.
While the popularity of the main opposition party’s leader (New Democracy’s Costas Karamanlis) is also upward-bound, 64.2 percent of those polled responded that the government should fulfill its four-year term regardless of the European Parliament’s imminent election results. When asked to find who is the fittest for the country’s premiership post, 36.6 percent of those polled favored Mr. Simitis, with 33.9 percent opting for Mr. Karamanlis, although the latter’s popularity (46.1%) has a slight edge over the Premier’s.
The leader of the Left Coalition (Synaspismos), Nikos Kostantopoulos remains at the top of the scale with 57.8% , followed by the Democratic and Social Movement (DIKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas who amassed 50.4% in his favor. A.F.