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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 99-05-13
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 13, 1999
NEWS IN DETAIL
 GREEK PRESIDENT ON OFFICIAL VISIT TO ARMENIA, TO MEET WITH PM
Yerevan, May 13 (MPA)The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos is presently conducting an official, two- day visit to Armenia, at the invitation of the republic's leadership. He will meet with Armenian Premier Armen Darbinyan today, the last day of his visit to Armenia. Yesterday, the President, accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Grigoris Niotis and Deputy National Economy Minister Alekos Baltas, inaugurated a Greek hall at the Yerevan State University’s library, which will contain books on history and sciences presented by Greece. Yerevan University’s library is the oldest in Armenia and houses two million books, while it also features a selection of ancient Greek literature books.
The University also bestowed upon the Greek President the honorary doctor degree. Mr. Stephanopoulos met with his Armenian counterpart Robert Kocharyan, with whom he signed three texts: an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation; an agreement for mutual assistance between customs administrations and a protocol for an exchange of documents on the ratification of a friendship and cooperation agreement between Greece and Armenia - signed in Athens in June 1997. The Greek President also visited the Museum and the Monument for the Armenian Genocide by the Turks in 1915, where he planted a fir tree "as an expression of honor to the Armenian nation". A.F.
 GREEK PREMIER URGES FOR AN END TO THE WAR IN YUGOSLAVIA
Athens, May 13 (MPA)Greece’s Prime Minister Costas Simitis stressed Greece’s wish to see the war in Yugoslavia stop, during his telephone conversation with his British counterpart Toni Blair.
Moreover, in his address before a PASOK rally last night, Mr. Simitis slammed Europe’s stance towards the Kosovo crisis, stating that while the continent has the capacity of being transformed into an economic giant, it, instead, displayed a lack of will in the Yugoslav matter by missing out on initiatives. Referring to the United States, he stressed that the concept of a permanent superpower is mistaken since it constitutes a factor of world instability. A.F.
 GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER TRAVELS TO BULGARIA TOMORROW
Athens, May 13 (MPA)Greece’s Foreign Minster George Papandreou is to travel to Sofia tomorrow, where he will hold talks with his Bulgarian and Romanian counterparts, Nadejda Michailova and Andrei Plesu, respectively.
Speaking in a press conference held yesterday, Mr. Papandreou stated that Greece will continue to work towards a speedy political and diplomatic solution to the Kosovo crisis through a series of contacts in Europe, the United States and China. He reiterated Greece's initiatives for the "day after" the war, underlining the aim of restructuring the region since it is integrally connected with Greek national interests.
The Foreign Minister is scheduled to travel to Paris on Tuesday, at the invitation of his French counterpart Hubert Vedrine. A.F.
 HELLENIC PETROLEUM SHOWN TO INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS UNION
Athens, May 13 (MPA)Greece’s “Hellenic Petroleum” was presented before the Institutional Investors Union in Athens yesterday by its chairman E. Tzellas who outlined the company’s leading position in the Greek oil market, where it holds 57% share.
Mr. Tzellas stressed that the Greek firm's Aspropyrgos refinery ranks sixth among 101 European facilities, while Thessaloniki’s facility is the only one in northern Greece.
The chairman stated that in 1998 the firm posted pre- tax profits of 40.2 billion drachmas, a sharp increase from 1997’s15.7 billion drachmas, adding that profits after tax were 27.5 billion drachmas in 1998, up from 6.3 billion in the previous year, he said. Hellenic Petroleum, which is listed on the Athens bourse and the London market, recently signed contracts worth 180 million dollars with the government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to acquire a majority stake in the country's OKTA refinery, and build a pipeline linking Thessaloniki and Skopje. A.F.
 PARLIAMENT’S CHINA-JAPAN-KOREA FRIENDSHIP GROUP IN SEOUL
Seoul, May 13 (MPA)A delegation of deputies-members of the Hellenic Parliament’s Greece-China-Japan-Korea friendship group, is departing for Seoul today, on the invitation of the south Korean Parliament. The Greek deputies, led by the group’s chairman Ioannis Haralabopoulos, will have talks with the country's political leaders and will also lay a wreath at the memorial erected in honor of Greek troops who died in the Korean War. A.F.
 NATO RAIDS A NIGHTLY OCCURRENCE IN YUGOSLAVIA
Belgrade, May 13 (MPA)NATO warplanes pounded Belgrade’s outskirts early this morning, striking Batanica’s airport. According to Yugoslavia’s “Studio B” radio station, the Serb television headquarters in Novi Sad were also hit, along with a nearby transmitter. At the same time, the United States have declared their intention to intensify the raids while, according to the US Pentagon, 660 missions were executed yesterday. A.F.
 RUSSIA: LOWER DUMA CALLS FOR YELTSIN’S RESIGNATION
Moscow, May 13 (MPA)Russian deputies embarked on President Boris Yeltsin’s impeachment session today, which could lead to the ouster of President Boris Yeltsin.
The 450-member State Duma lower house of parliament is to consider five charges against President Yeltsin during a debate scheduled to last three days. The session is following the President’s move to dismiss Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov from his duties by a decree, appointing interior minister, Sergei Stepashin, to the post. A.F.
 HUNDREDS OF YELTSIN’S OPPONENTS RALLY OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT
Moscow, May 13 (MPA)Hundreds of anti-Boris Yeltsin protesters demonstrated outside the State Duma in Moscow today, as deputies began historic impeachment hearings against the Russian president. As the French news agency AFP reported, police said 700 people had gathered outside the lower house of parliament, chanting "Yeltsin is a killer" and brandished red Soviet flags at the entrance to the parliament building.
"Yeltsin resign!" cried some, while others shouted, "no to a coup d'etat". "Yeltsin killed nine million people! Who wants more?" chanted some protesters, a reference to a genocide charge leveled against Yeltsin. "The president is completely mad," Eduard Limonov, head of the extremist National Bolshevik party told AFP. "Primakov was not the best prime minister, National Bolshevik party told AFP. "Primakov was not the best prime minister, but he guaranteed social stability.
"His dismissal is a step towards civil war," he added. On the nearby Tverskaya Boulevard around 80 pro- Yeltsin supporters rallied behind the president following an appeal by the Democratic Choice party of ex-premier Yegor Gaidar.
The group attacked the "Duma's madness" in launching the impeachment process. A.F.
 BULGARIAN TRADE-TOURISM MINISTER TO VISIT GREECE TODAY
Athens, May 13 (MPA)Bulgaria’s Minister of Trade and Tourism Valentin Vasilev is to visit Greece today, at the invitation of Greece’s Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou.
Mr. Vasilev is scheduled to meet with the Minister of Development Evangelos Venizelos, Macedonia-Thrace Ioannis Magriotis and various Greek businessmen and investors. A.F.
 GREEK -CZECH INITIATIVE FOR KOSOVO IS IN THE WORKS
Prague, May 13 (MPA)Greece and the Czech Republic are working on a joint initiative for reaching a political resolution to the Kosovo crisis, according to an announcement issued by the Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan.
According to the Czech FM, this initiative will be supplementary to the G-8’s decision, by supporting that the countries which were not directly involved in the air raids against Yugoslavia will be able to carry out a key role in organizing the peacekeeping force that would be assigned to the region. Meanwhile, Czech President Vaclav Havel believes that a solution is imminent to the Kosovo crisis, so close in fact that “it could be resolved in a matter of days, not weeks.” A.F.