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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-02-12

Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


CONTENTS

  • [01] OVER 27.000 GREEKS DIE EACH YEAR FROM HEART DISEASES
  • [02] INTER-BALKAN MEETING ON DRUGS
  • [03] GREECE CAN ASK FOR A CHANGE IN THE TURKISH POLICY
  • [04] THE ISSUE OF GLOBALIZATION IS DISCUSSED IN THE ISTAME CONFERENCE
  • [05] MEETING OF THE ALBANIAN PRIME MINISTER WITH THE OMONIA LEADER
  • [06] SIMITIS: THE MEETING WITH ECEVIT WAS HELD IN A GOOD ATMOSPHERE
  • [07] STRASBOURG: 10.000 PEOPLE WILL RALLY FOR OCALAN

  • [01] OVER 27.000 GREEKS DIE EACH YEAR FROM HEART DISEASES

    Thessaloniki, 12 February 2000 (15:42 UTC+2)

    Over 27.000 Greeks lose their lives each year from heart and vascular diseases that are mainly the result of bad eating habits and cigarette smoking.

    The Greek children are number one candidates for heart diseases as they are the most obese children in Europe, they do not exercise as much as they should have and they start smoking in their early teens.

    According to statistics, 170.000 Europeans die each year because of heart problems before they reach the age of 65 and responsible for 71% of the those deaths are bad eating habits and cigarette smoking.

    [02] INTER-BALKAN MEETING ON DRUGS

    Thessaloniki, 12 February 2000 (15:42 UTC+2)

    An inter-Balkan meeting of officials responsible for tackling drug-trafficking was held in Thessaloniki's US consulate under the auspices of US agencies.

    According to today's issue of Thessaloniki's daily "Angelioforos", the meeting was secret and was held with the participation of Greek police officers, the Greek Customs Agency, the Greek Economic crime enforcement agency, the Bulgarian National Agency against organized crime and FYROM's National Police.

    In a press release issued it was mentioned that the meeting dealt with the increasing drug problem in the region and the spread of organized crime.

    [03] GREECE CAN ASK FOR A CHANGE IN THE TURKISH POLICY

    Thessaloniki, 12 February 2000 (15:41 UTC+2)

    The latest developments give the capability to the governments of Greece and Cyprus to claim the change of the Turkish policy on Cyprus, stated minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos speaking in a conference on European Cyprus: Capabilities, Prospects and Problems organized by the Defense Analyses Institute.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos underlined that Cyprus' participation in the EU became definite in Helsinki regardless of the solution of the problem on the island. He said that Turkey has an obligation to adjust to the European status quo and the terms of Copenhagen in combination with the improvement of its relations with Greece.

    Referring to the Denktash proposal for a confederation in Cyprus, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that this corresponds to a division of the island. Also, regarding the defense cooperation agreement signed by Greece and Israel, he said that it has broken the exclusive cooperation of Israel with Turkey.

    [04] THE ISSUE OF GLOBALIZATION IS DISCUSSED IN THE ISTAME CONFERENCE

    Thessaloniki, 12 February 2000 (15:41 UTC+2)

    The issue of globalization opened the two-day conference on Europe and the World in the Dawning of the New Millennium organized by the Institute for Strategic and Development Studies (ISTAME)-Andreas Papandreou and PASOK's prefecture committee in Thessaloniki.

    In his speech minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos stated that no one can dispute that globalization has positive and negative elements. Among the negative ones are the weakening of national policies, the widening of the gap between the rich and poor and the collapse of social protection, underlining the need for a world contract.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos accused Europe of being late to realize that it had to intervene for the solution of the problems in south-eastern Europe and this resulted to the problems in Yugoslavia, Kosovo and other crisis areas.

    Minister of development Evangelos Venizelos stated that the leftist Europe must give answers to the problem of hunger and poverty, stressing that it has to give answers both at a management and a visionary level.

    Former president of Romania Ion Iliescu and leader of the Social-democratic Party in his country emphasized that the European Union will not be complete if it does not include the eastern European countries among its members. He referred to the solidarity issue among countries and peoples and spoke of the need to limit the gap between the rich and the poor because it can be the main sources of conflicts and destabilizing situations. He said that the globalization of the economy is inevitable and placed himself against the isolation of countries or social groups from the process.

    Mr. Iliescu stated that military interventions are not a solution and this was evident in the case of Kosovo, while on the Balkan states he said that they need to be more extrovert and look for solutions to the problems of the region within the framework of cooperation and without exclusions. He said that the citizens are not simply consumers, they must participate actively and they should not be just the recipients of changes, while he stated that the national identities and minorities should be respected.

    [05] MEETING OF THE ALBANIAN PRIME MINISTER WITH THE OMONIA LEADER

    Tirana, 12 February 2000 (15:42 UTC+2)

    Albanian prime minister Ilir Meta before departurting yesterday for Bucharest met with Greek minority organization OMONIA leader Vangel Dule in Tirana at the latter's request.

    Mr. Dule briefed the Albanian prime minister on the problems faced by the Greek minority in Albania mainly the education of its members in the Greek language and the teaching of the history of the Greek nation which, in spite of the promises given by the ministry of education, is not being done. He also briefed the Albanian prime minister on the security problems faced by the Greek minority and the problems in property transfers.

    Also, among the demands of the Greek minority is the opening of Greek schools in Himara which the Albanian government continues to ignore.

    Mr. Meta stated that the Albanian government is determined to implement the European standards in the respect of the Greek minority rights and the rights of the minorities in general. He also expressed his government's intent to solve the problems in accordance with the country's constitution and the international treaties signed by Albania.

    The Albanian prime minister stated that the constructive dialogue between the government and the OMONIA representatives must continue for the solution of the problems faced by the Greek minority.

    Mr. Dule stated to MPA after the meeting that he is satisfied with the way the Albanian prime minister saw his demands adding however that there was a similar stance in the past too but there were no desirable results. Mr. Dule expressed the hope that this time there will be positive results.

    [06] SIMITIS: THE MEETING WITH ECEVIT WAS HELD IN A GOOD ATMOSPHERE

    Bucharest, 12 February 2000 (15:41 UTC+2)

    Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis, who is in Bucharest for the Inter-Balkan conference, responding to a question by MPA stated that the meeting with Turkish prime minister Bulent Ecevit was held in a good atmosphere and that Greece will offer know-how to Turkey within the framework of the European Union.

    Mr. Simitis stated that the summit meeting of the south-eastern European countries is taking place at the initiative of Greece and the fact that is being held means that there are true needs for it such as tackling crime and the development of the region, as well as the relations of the region with the European Union.

    Referring to the charter that will be signed today the prime minister stated that there is a true intent to implement it and this is obvious from the fact that a few days ago there was agreement for the construction of a second bridge over the Danube linking Romania with Bulgaria a fact that has a special importance for Greece too as it will facilitate transportation.

    On Kosovo, Mr. Simitis said that there is the UN Security Council decision according to which, Kosovo must be autonomous inside the borders of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

    On Yugoslavia, Mr. Simitis stated that the isolation policy imposed on the country is not effective and the embargo must be lifted. He said that Greece will propose the lifting of the air transportation embargo to and from Yugoslavia in the EU foreign ministers council meeting that will be held on Monday.

    On the Stability Pact, the prime minister stressed that the existing plans must be implemented faster and expressed the hope that there will be an acceleration of pace after late March when the Donors Conference will be held.

    The Greek prime minister also met with FYROM president Mr. Georgievski and Romanian prime minister Mr. Isarescu in the presence of foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou.

    Mr. Isarescu characterized the climate in bilateral relations as very good, adding that the meeting concluded that the businessmen from both countries should work freely in a climate of stability and good legislation. He said that his country wants to regain the trust of foreign investors and has asked for the Greek help in order to drastically cut inflation.

    Mr. Simitis stated that Greece has a stable policy for Romania and the other countries in the Balkan region and want them to participate in the European unification procedures.

    [07] STRASBOURG: 10.000 PEOPLE WILL RALLY FOR OCALAN

    Strasbourg, 12 February 2000 (16:08 UTC+2)

    About 10.000 demonstrators will participate in a protest scheduled to take place in Strasbourg today a year after the arrest of Kurdistan Workers' Party, PKK, leader Abdullah Ocalan by the Turks.

    Demonstrators from France, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium started gathering at the city parks since this morning calling for peace and democracy in Turkey.

    A Turkish court sentenced Ocalan to death after his arrest on February 16, 1999 but his execution was canceled in January as a European Court for Human Rights decision on the issue is still pending.


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