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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 99-05-20
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 20, 1999
NEWS IN DETAIL
 ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH VARTHOLOMEOS ARRIVES IN GREECE TODAY
Thessaloniki, May 20 (MPA)The Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, the spiritual leader of all of the world's Orthodox Christians, is arriving in Greece today for a two-week visit as the official guest of the Orthodox Church of Greece. Granted all the honors accorded a head of state, upon his arrival the Ecumenical Patriarch will be greeted by the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and the Prime Minister Costas Simitis. He will visit the Thessaloniki suburb of Kalamaria on May 31, the feast of the Holy Spirit, accompanied by Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece. A.F.
 PRESIDENT OF GREECE TO CONDUCT OFFICIAL VISIT TO BULGARIA
Athens, May 20 (MPA)The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos is to conduct an official visit to Bulgaria next week.
President Stephanopoulos will embark on his visit on Wednesday, May 26, and will return to Athens on Friday, May 28. A.F.
 PRESIDENT OF HELLENIC PARLIAMENT IS IN LISBON FOR CONFERENCE
Lisbon, May 20 (MPA)The President of the Hellenic Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis has departed for Lisbon where he will participate in the conference of the Presidents of Parliaments of European Union member-states and the European Parliament.
The participants are to discuss the consequences borne by globalization on the parliamentary principles, and the Inter-Parliamentarian Cooperation following the Amsterdam Treaty. A.F.
 GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER TRAVELS TO RUSSIA TOMORROW
Athens, May 20 (MPA)Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou will conduct a one-day working visit to Moscow tomorrow, where he will have talks with his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov and Russia's Balkans envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin.
One of the issues to be discussed will be a plan of further work within the framework of the Russian-Greek- Swiss initiative called Focus, which is designed to provide humanitarian aid to the victims of the Kosovo crisis.
The plan was approved by the initiative's coordinating committee at its meeting in Athens yesterday. Mr. Papandreou will return to Athens in the evening. A.F.
 MACEDONIA-THRACE MINISTER MEETS WITH CYPRIOT PRESIDENT
Thessaloniki, May 20 (MPA)The Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Yiannis Magriotis was received yesterday by the President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafcos Clerides with whom he discussed the island's European Union accession course, the developments in the Balkans and the consequences of the Yugoslavia war on Greece and Cyprus. Mr. Magriotis, who was accompanied by a delegation of local businessmen during his two-day visit to Cyprus, said that cooperation between the two countries over the past few years has been developing in the economy, culture, education and art sectors, while he expressed the desire to expand this cooperation even more. Mr. Magriotis stated that the start of Cyprus’s accession negotiations with the European Union has paved the way for the solution to the Cyprus issue. The Minister visited Cyprus at the invitation of the Cypriot Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Nikos Rolandis. A.F.
 FIRST GROUP OF KOSOVO REFUGEES IN THESSALONIKI TODAY
Thessaloniki, May 20 (MPA)A group of about 450 refugees from Kosovo are arriving at Thessaloniki’s Macedonia Airport this afternoon, where they will have a brief stopover prior to boarding a foreign airplane that will transport them to Australia. The relevant consultations were made by the UN High Commission for Refugees and the Greek government. Greece’s Ministry of the Interior has provided the necessary preparations for their reception at the airport. A.F.
 BURGAS-ALEXANDROUPOLIS OIL PIPELINE PROJECT EDGES FORWARD
Thessaloniki, May 20 (MPA)"Transbalkan Pipeline", the company that will undertake the construction and operation of the Burgas- Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, is to found its articles of association during the month of July, thus bringing the project a step closer to reality, according to a memorandum signed in Athens this week between Russia’s Deputy Fuel and Energy Minister Yelena Telegina and Greece’s Minister of Development Evangelos Venizelos.
The Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline will be jointly constructed by Greece, Russia and Bulgaria and envisions a transport link for Russian oil between the Bulgarian port of Burgas and the Greek port of Alexandroupolis.
Greece is participating in the tripartite project with a 10 percent share, while Russia’s input amounts to 50 per cent. Bulgaria’s share continues to be a sore point, as no agreement has been reached as of yet, resulting in the project’s delay. The pipeline will have the transport capacity of 30-35 tons of crude oil which will be delivered to Burgas (Bulgaria) from the Russian port of Novorosisk with tankers. In turn, the crude oil will be transport to Greece’s Alexandroupolis via a subterranean pipeline whose length surpasses 280 kilometers.
The project is budgeted at $688 million, although the figure will be closer earmarked once the first phase of the study is completed. A.F.
 NATO ESCALATES ATTACKS AGAINST YUGOSLAVIA, BOMBS BELGRADE
Belgrade, May 20 (MPA)Yugoslavia’s capital city of Belgrade resembled an inferno last night when NATO aircraft dropped two missiles, one of them on a neurological clinic.
The attack took place immediately after the talks held between Russian envoy for Kosovo Viktor Chernomyrdin and Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. According to Serb authorities, three patients were killed and two pregnant women were wounded in the strike. Moreover, the Allied aircraft struck a chemical substances plant in Bari, water reservoirs and electricity substations which serve Belgrade. A.F.
 SWEDISH EMBASSY IN BELGRADE DAMAGED BY NATO BOMBING
Belgrade, May 20 (MPA)The Swedish embassy in Belgrade was damaged as a result of the NATO raids that occurred late last night. According to the Swedish ambassador in Yugoslavia, none of the staff members of the embassy was killed or injured. A.F.
 CHERNOMYRDIN TO MEET ANEW WITH MILOSEVIC ON MONDAY
Belgrade, May 20 (MPA)Russia's Balkans envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin will continue coordinating the positions held by Russia and Western countries on the Kosovo crisis during today’s with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari. Following his meeting with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade, with whom he will meet anew on Monday, Mr. Chernomyrdin said that the settlement of the Kosovo crisis must be based on the principles worked out at the G-8 summit, and those principles "must be developed". A.F.
 CZECH PRESIDENT SUFFERING FROM SEVERE RESPIRATORY ILLNESS
Prague, May 20 (MPA)Czech President Vaclav Havel has been diagnosed as suffering from a severe respiratory disease caused by virus. According to the Russian news agency Itar-Tass, Mr. Havel’s physician stated that the President "has been prescribed an out-patient treatment and for the time being no antibiotics are used. "
The president's illness is believed to be the result of an excessive work load he had carried through in the past six months. During this period the Czech president paid a number of visits abroad.
"His work schedule is always tough to a maximum," the doctor said, adding that “doctors have no grounds for concern over Vaclav Havel's health although he has undergone several major surgeries over the past 2,5 years. His temperature is normal and we are hoping that he will recover in about five days." A.F.
 SECURITY COUNCIL TO SUPERVISE TROOP DISTRIBUTION IN KOSOVO
Skopje, May 20 (MPA)The United Nations Security Council is to pass a resolution under which the UN will supervise the distribution of troops in Kosovo and the setting up of a provisional administration in the province, UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan said yesterday at a press conference in Skopje. According to the Russian news agency Itar-Tass, Mr. Annan, who arrived in FYROM yesterday, said that all concerned parties view the UN as a central place for finding a peaceful solution to the crisis, and the UN is taking considerable diplomatic efforts in this direction.
The Secretary-General said he did not know how long it would take to achieve a political agreement on Kosovo until Yugoslav President Slobodan Mr. Milosevic’s response was made known to the “Group of Eight” countries. Mr. Annan stressed that all persisting issues over Kosovo should be ironed out before demanding a clear answer from Mr. Milosevic.
Furthermore, he said that the fact that all countries involved in the conflict are interested in finding a diplomatic solution is “encouraging” and added that "key steps are expectable" in this direction within two weeks.
During his stay in FYROM, Mr. Annan visited refugee camps and met with the country’s president Kiro Gligorov. A.F.
 GREECE RANKS FIRST AMONG EUROPE’S CLEAN COASTS
Thessaloniki, May 20 (MPA)An astounding 98.7 percent of Greece’s coasts are suitable for swimming, thus giving the country first rank among European states in regards to coastal cleanliness. According to the Swim Waters Quality Control Program, out of 1,737 swim points examined throughout the country last year, only 17 were deemed unsuitable to swim in. The said program, a GRD170 million project, was drawn by Greece’s Ministry of Environment, Land Planning and Public Works. A.F.
 BSTDB DIRECTORS TO MEET IN THESSALONIKI TOMORROW
Thessaloniki, May 20 (MPA)The Board of Directors of the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) is to hold a two-day meeting in Thessaloniki tomorrow, 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.
 YUGOSLAV NEWS AGENCY SIGNS COOPERATION ACCORD WITH CNN
Belgrade, May 20 (MPA)The Yugoslav state news agency TANJUG and the Atlanta-based Cable News Network (CNN) have signed a cooperation accord in Belgrade, which will allow the American network to freely transmit and broadcast all of TANJUG’s reports.
This is the first agreement signed by a Yugoslav news agency with CNN, as well as TANJUG’s first agreement with a US network. A.F.