|Thursday, 5 December 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 99-05-14
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 14, 1999
NEWS IN DETAIL
 GREEK PRESIDENT COMMENTS ON GREECE’S ROLE IN THE BALKANS
Athens, May 14 (MPA)The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos returned to Athens yesterday after completing an official visit to Georgia and Armenia.
Responding to a question posed by the Macedonian Press Agency concerning Greece’s role in the Balkans as a NATO and EU member-state, the President stated that Greece is being given the opportunity to undertake this role and carry it out successfully, “...to restore damages in the region and aid in the establishment of peace and stability.” A.F.
 GREEK -CZECH INITIATIVE FOR KOSOVO IS IN THE WORKS
Athens, May 14 (MPA)Greece and the Czech Republic are working on a joint initiative for reaching a political resolution to the Kosovo crisis, according to Greece’s Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Yiannos Kranidiotis. The Greek-Czech initiative, which was announced by Mr. Kranidiotis and his Czech counterpart Jan Kavan at the Western European Union ministerial meeting in Bremen, 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 role in organizing the peacekeeping force that would be assigned to the region. The initiative emphasizes the need to reach a political solution to the crisis through diplomatic negotiations. The proposal is supported by Slovenia and Italy. A.F.
 GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER TRAVELS TO BULGARIA TODAY
Athens, May 14 (MPA)Greece’s Foreign Minister George Papandreou is to travel to Sofia today, where he will hold talks with his Bulgarian and Romanian counterparts, Nadejda Michailova and Andrei Plesu, respectively.
Speaking in a press conference held earlier this week, 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.
 PARLIAMENT SPEAKER MEETS WITH GERMAN COUNTERPART
Athens, May 14 (MPA)The President of the Hellenic Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis received his German counterpart Wolfgang Thierse in Athens yesterday, where they confirmed both countries’ opposition to the continuation of the war in Yugoslavia. Messrs. Kaklamanis and Thierse underlined the need for a political solution to be found to the Kosovo crisis, the safe return of refugees to their homes, the prevention of a spill-over of the crisis into neighboring countries and international assistance in rebuilding the region.
Mr. Kaklamanis expressed the view that hopes for a peaceful settlement which were recently fueled by the G8 draft agreement now appeared to be waning, "a fact of grave concern to the Greek people, which is already experiencing the negative repercussions from the conflict".
He also pointed to a lack of sensitivity similar to that shown towards Kosovar refugees in the case of the 200,000 Greek Cypriots who were forced from their homes by the Turkish forces which invaded Cyprus in 1974 and has subsequently occupied 40 per cent of the island republic's territory.
In turn, Mr. Thierse described the war in Yugoslavia as "a defeat for European policy" and urged the adoption by the European Union of a common foreign and defense policy.
He also expressed the view that the positive outcome of the Yugoslav conflict against Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic would have positive consequences for the Cyprus problem and for other problems involving the violation of human rights and international law.
Mr. Thierse will meet with the Greek Premier Costas Simitis today. A.F.
 AUSTRIAN AMBASSADOR RECEIVED BY MACEDONIA-THRACE MINISTER
Thessaloniki, May 14 (MPA)The Austrian Ambassador in Greece Hans Sabaditsch was received in Thessaloniki yesterday by the Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Yiannis Magriotis, accompanied by Austria’s Consul-General Ioannis Koufas.
The discussion centered around the latest developments in Kosovo, and both Messrs. Magriotis and Sabaditsch agreed that the armed conflict must cease immediately and that a humanitarian and economic aid program needs to be founded. Furthermore, they agreed that Northern Greece, especially Thessaloniki, can be the center of this European effort since the region has both the infrastructure and the know- how to carry out such a role. A.F.
 FM UNDERSECRETARY HAILS RESULTS OF GEORGIA, ARMENIA VISITS
Thessaloniki, May 14 (MPA)Greece’s Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Grigoris Niotis warmly saluted the recent visit he conducted to Georgia and Armenia, where he accompanied the President of the Hellenic Republic, as a monumental event.
Speaking to the Macedonian Press Agency, Mr. Niotis exalted the treatment granted to the Greek delegation by the peoples of the respective countries and stated it signifies Greece’s leading role in Black Sea Cooperation Pact with the European Union, which will culminate in October with the Thessaloniki-held conference of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC).
The President was accompanied in his visits to Armenia and Georgia by a large delegation of Greek businessmen and investors, as well as officials from Greece’s ministries of foreign affairs and national economy.
“We came here not only to confirm our immense interest for the Greek community, but also to seal our traditional ties of friendship and love with the Georgian and Armenian peoples,” Mr. Niotis stated. Regarding the "Hippocrates Hospital", which was inaugurated by President Stephanopoulos during his visit to Tbilisi and is one among the ten clinics founded by the Council of Greeks Abroad (SAE), Mr. Niotis stated that it is a state-of-the-art facility with a staff of 19 physicians, 12 of whom are Greeks. A.F.
 GREEK AMBASSADOR IN MOSCOW MEETS WITH EMERGENCY MINISTER
Moscow, May 14 (MPA)Greece’s Ambassador in Moscow, Dimitris Ciprios was received by the Russian Minister for Emergencies yesterday, with whom he discussed issues regarding the Greek-Russian-Swiss humanitarian action "Focus" which has began its operations in Yugoslavia. According to the Russian news agency Itar-Tass, a Ministry mobile, with a capacity of 50 patients, began receiving its first air-raid victims yesterday in the Serbian town of Prokuple, 30 kilometers from Nis.
The Greek Russian and Swiss flags, representing the three countries participating in the humanitarian action, were hoisted over the hospital. Messrs. Ciprios and Shogu agreed on the necessity to establish several humanitarian zones in Yugoslavia, where the security of international humanitarian missions will be guaranteed. In addition, the ambassador conveyed an invitation on behalf of Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou to Mr. Shoigu to visit Athens. A.F.
 BSTDB DIRECTORS TO MEET IN THESSALONIKI THIS MONTH
Thessaloniki, May 14 (MPA)The Board of Directors of the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) is to meet in Thessaloniki on May 21-22, in order to draw the final touches prior to the financial institution’s operation. The meeting will concern the BSTDB's latest financial policies which are subject to approval, matters concerning project strategy and investment policies and assessment of risk management.
While the Bank will embark on full operation mode on the 1st of June, the official inauguration will take place on the 21st of that month.
The bank's budget, which is expected to be 150 million dollars in 1999, will finance projects and programs funded jointly with other credit organizations, such as the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
The shareholders of the Black Sea Bank are the 11 member-states of the Black Sea Organization of Economic Cooperation: Greece, Turkey, Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldavia and Albania. A.F.
 COUNTDOWN BEGINS FOR OLYMPIC AIRWAYS MANAGEMENT
Thessaloniki, May 14 (MPA)The new manager of Greece’s Olympic Airways is expected to be unveiled within the following days, as, according to statements made earlier by Transportation and Communications Minister Tasos Mantelis, the selection process is to wrap up by the end of this month. According to persistent rumors, the short-list candidates willing to assume O.A’s management are “British Airways”’s subsidiary “Speedwing” and “American Airlines”’s subsidiary "Sabre". A.F.
 YUGOSLAVIA’S ELECTRICITY PLANTS TARGETED BY NATO
Belgrade, May 14 (MPA)NATO aircraft have intensified their raids against Yugoslavia, this time targeting the country’s power transmission lines and transformer substations in the cities of Belgrade, Novi Sad and Nis, completely cutting off electricity supply.
According to the Yugoslav news agency “Tanjug”, NATO aircraft bombarded a bridge in north Serbia, causing extensive damages to houses and other buildings. Meanwhile, NATO officials have said that the partial withdrawal of Serb troops from Kosovo is at best “insufficient”. A.F.
 BRITISH FM TO MEET WITH IBRAHIM RUGOVA TODAY
London, May 14 (MPA)British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook is to meet with the moderate leader of Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians Ibrahim Rugova in London today. Meanwhile, French President Jacques Chirac stated that progress was noted in his talks with the Russian leaders, albeit declining to elaborate. At the same time, the United States and China have embarked on an effort to restore their diplomatic ties, one week after the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade by NATO aircraft where three Chinese nationals were killed. Regarding the United Nations, this marks the first time since the war started 51 days ago that the world organization will send a delegation to Yugoslavia which will examine humanitarian issues. A.F.
 RUSSIA: DUMA CONTINUES DEBATE ON PRESIDENT’S IMPEACHMENT
Moscow, May 14 (MPA)The State Duma will continue to discuss the item "On accusations against the President of the Russian Federation" today, where Boris Yeltsin is facing charges of disbanding the Soviet Union, illegally shelling the former parliament with tanks in 1993, ruining the armed forces, and committing "genocide" through poor economic policies and easier access to birth control.
The fifth charge -- responsibility for the disastrous 21-month war against breakaway Chechnya -- is seen as having the most chance of garnering the 300 votes needed to take the impeachment process further. A.F.