|Tuesday, 5 December 2023|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-02-18
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 GREECE IN SEARCH OF FOREIGN CAPITALAthens, 18 February 2000 (10:11 UTC+2)
Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou is to visit London on Monday in an effort to attract the inflow of foreign capital at the Athens Stock Exhcange which has taken a downturn as of lately.
Mr. Papantoniou will be accompanied by the governor of the National Bank of Greece Athanasios Karatzas and the president of the Alpha Credit Bank Group Ioannis Kostopoulos.
The Minister is scheduled to meet with his British counterpart Gordon Brown as well as with the London Stock Exchange president and the British deputy foreign minister.
 ISTANBUL, ATHENS MAYORS SIGN PROTOCOLIstanbul, 18 February 2000 (11:08 UTC+2)
The Mayors of Athens and Istanbul, Dimitris Avramopoulos and Ali Mufit Kutuna respectively, signed a friendship and cooperation protocol in Turkey yesterday, thus leading to the strengthening of ties between the two cities.
"This is a historical event which seals the first cycle of contacts between the two cities which began with the earthquakes in Greece and Turkey," Mr. Avramopoulos stated, adding that the protocol had the blessing of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
In turn, Mr. Kutuna stated that "the people have shown the way of friendship, the cities have responded, it is now time for governments to continue."
The protocol designates the institutional framework of bilateral cooperation and concerns the protection of the two cities' cultural heritage, the support of joint business initiatives, the promotion of tourism, and student exchange programs.
Mr. Avramopoulos, leading a delegation of Greek businessmen, attended the Eastern Mediterranean International Fair on Tourism, while he also visited the Phanar where he was received by the Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos.
 FYROM VP INAUGURATES GREEK FIRMS TRADE FAIRSkopje, 18 February 2000 (10:49 UTC+2)
Giving the assurance that FYROM's current leadership will continue to exert all efforts to strengthen the country's economic ties with Greece, vice-president Vasil Topurkovski officially inaugurated the Greek company trade fair in Skopje yesterday.
Mr. Topurkovski also stated that the Fair constitutes an example of the strengthened political ties between Greece and FYROM and reiterated his conviction that his country's course to the EU runs through Greece.
Greece's Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Yiannis Magriotis was also present at the event, where he stated that the Fair's success reflects the boosted dynamism of bilateral economic relations.
The event features the presentation of over one hundred companies, with this year's participation rate up by 65 percent in comparison to 1999.
Most companies are from northern Greece and among the sectors represented are foodstuffs and beverages, packaging materials, plastic irrigation pipes, apparel, aluminum products, building materials and services.
The four-day event, the third of its kind, is organized by the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair (ITF).
According to the general director of ITF Haralambos Tsarouhas, five more Greek firms expositions are to be held during the year 2000, one each in Tirana, Plovdiv, Bucharest, Istanbul and Gaza, which has expressed an interest in collaborating with ITF for the construction of an exposition center in Palestine.
Meanwhile, a conference titled Bilateral Economic Ties - Cooperation Prospective and Opportunity is to be held tomorrow, February 19, at Skopje, organized by the Inter-Balkan and Black Sea Business Center, in cooperation with TIF and Skopje's Economic Chamber. FYROM's Premier Liupcko Georgievski is to address the event.
 THE BRITISH AMBASSADOR VISITED THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 18 February 2000 (18:35 UTC+2)
British ambassador to Athens David Manten arrived in Thessaloniki to visit the INFACOMA exhibition, meet with a British trade delegation that is visiting the city and attend the presentation of the engineer company MAUNSELL.
The British ambassador also had the opportunity to meet with leading figures in Thessaloniki, representatives of local authorities, parliament deputies, journalists and scientists.
The British ambassador stated that trade cooperation is the most important element in the Greek-British relations as trade develops from both directions.
 A 3RD CENTURY AD MOSAIC WAS DISCOVERED IN PHILIPPI, NORTHERN GREECEThessaloniki, 18 February 2000 (18:29 UTC+2)
A unique in its kind mosaic not found anywhere else in Greece, dated back to the 3rd century AD, was unearthed during an archaeological excavation in the region of the ancient city of Philippi in northern Greece
It is possible that the mosaic, presenting a scene from the hippodrome, was decorating the bottom of a 4x10 meters swimming-pool.
Head of the excavations Byzantine archaeology professor in Thessaloniki's Aristotle University Giorgos Gounaris stressed that the walls of the swimming-pool were protected from humidity with lead plates which is a unique detail. Also, the excavations unearthed a complete glassware workshop which is also unique in Greece and is dated back to the 4th century AD.
 THE HUMAN BONES FOUND IN ATHENS PROBABLY BELONG TO ANCIENT SOLDIERSAthens, 18 February 2000 (18:29 UTC+2)
The US newspaper "The New York Times" referred to the discovery of bones in Athens which, according to archaeologists, belong to Athenian soldiers and are dated back to the times of Pericles.
In the newspaper report pointed out that archaeologists believe that they have found the remains of 200-250 soldiers and it is possible that they are the soldiers to whom Pericles refers to in his famous epitaph speech.
According to the newspaper, the ashes and the bones of the Athenian soldiers were unearthed three years ago from a region in Athens and have been sent to Adelphi University in New York to be analyzed in detail in a process that will take years.
The preliminary examination of the remains has already showed that the bones belong to men and according to anthropologist Anagnostis Angelarakis, the examination will continue to determine the age of the soldiers, their eating habits etc.
 GAINS IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 18 February 2000 (18:24 UTC+2)
Gains of 1.04% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today and the general index closed at 5.277 points, while the volume of transactions remained low at 169 billion drachmas.
Of the 359 shares trading in the Athens Stock Exchange 276 had gains, 44 moved downward and 39 remained stable.
The low level of transactions still causes concern and everybody is expecting the long awaited upgrading of the Athens Stock Exchange, the implementation of measures that will support the stock market and the arrival of the foreign institutional investors, hoping that they will improve the situation.
 MEETING ON THE COURSE OF THE GREEK ECONOMYAthens, 18 February 2000 (18:22 UTC+2)
Prime minister Kostas Simitis had a meeting on the course of the Greek economy with the leaderships of the ministries of national economy, finance and agriculture. The main topic discussed was the international oil prices that are gradually dropping.
Minister of national economy Yiannos Papantoniou stated that it is natural for the oil prices to affect the course of the stock market but he denied the rumors on a possible stock market crisis, stating that things move toward a more positive direction.
Mr. Papantoniou also announced that there will be tax policy measures that will benefit the weak economic classes.
 THE SHIELD OF DIMITRIOS THE BESIEGER WAS DISCOVERED IN DIONThessaloniki, 18 February 2000 (18:21 UTC+2)
The formal presentation of part of a Macedonian shield made of copper which is believed to belong to Dimitrios the Besieger, the successor of Alexander the Great, will take place today within the framework of the annual archeological meeting that started in Thessaloniki yesterday.
The shield, according to Aristotle University of Thessaloniki professor Dimitris Pantermalis, was discovered in the archaeological site of Dion in northern Greece and bears the name of the king. It was found in the temple of Zeus, the sacred temple of the ancient Macedons, and at the center of the shield is depicted a big star with twelve rays.
A comparison of the shield's decoration with other monuments that have already been dated places the shield back to the 3rd century BC.
 GREECE'S AIR DEFENSE WILL BE SECURED BY THE END OF 2001Thessaloniki, 18 February 2000 (18:19 UTC+2)
Minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos speaking in the ceremony for the installation of the anti-aircraft "Patriot" missile systems in the Sedes military airport in Thessaloniki, stated that the full anti-aircraft coverage of the Aegean and the Greek mainland will be secured by the end of 2001. He said that with the arrival of 6 "Patriot 3" missile systems of small and medium range the anti-aircraft umbrella for the protection Greece will be complete.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos underlined that the national defense needs to be reinforced because the crises in south-eastern Europe, Caucasus, Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean will continue to exist, Cyprus' security is a national obligation for Greece, while the negotiations with Turkey, within the framework of the EU-Turkey relations, force Greece to safeguard its defense and deterrent ability to the highest degree during the next decade. He also stated that this way the negotiations with Turkey will become more effective and new terms will be secured in the relations of the two countries.
 SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED TO RUSSIAN PHILHELLENESThessaloniki, 18 February 2000 (14:31 UTC+2)
A Greek language program titled "Jason", is offering scholarships to ten Russian graduate students and professors of Moscow's Lomonosov University who will study at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki's Philosophy Department.
The program is aimed at Greek language students from the Commonwealth of Independent States. So far, "Jason" has provided further study opportunities to 135 students from 12 universities of the Black Sea countries. It has also established Greek Literature and History libraries in eight universities.
 HOAX THREAT CALLED ON ATHENS MAYORS PLANEAthens, 18 February 2000 (14:23 UTC+2)
A plane bound for Athens from Istanbul carrying Athens mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos was subjected to a hoax bomb threat, called in at the Greek capital's airport by an unknown man.
The plane landed as scheduled and was searched by a anti-terrorist unit which found no bomb.
 SAE REVIEWS NATIONAL ISSUESThessaloniki, 18 February 2000 (13:49 UTC+2)
The new -and expanded- board of directors of the Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) is to complete its first regular session in Thessaloniki tomorrow, where the participants will discuss a series of issues ranging from national policy to programs for the Greeks abroad for the following two-year period.
Specifically, the SAE board will discuss the programming of various cultural activities abroad, in a session to be attended by Greece's Minister of Culture Elizabeth Papazoi.
SAE President Andrew Athens will also provide a special report spanning the gamut of national issues, while the board members will also review the drive for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece as well as the genocide of the Greeks from Pontus.
 THERE IS NO TURNING BACK IN THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE GREEK-TURKISH RELATIONSIstanbul, 18 February 2000 (18:35 UTC+2)
Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos assessed the progress observed lately in the Greek-Turkish relations and stated that the rapid and unexpected improvement in the Greek-Turkish relations is a road with no return.
The Ecumenical Patriarch made the statements welcoming the representatives of the Mount Athos monasteries visiting Istanbul and regarding Mount Athos he said that it must not change its form and tradition.
 ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH SALUTES G/T FRIENDSHIPIstanbul, 18 February 2000 (13:33 UTC+2)
Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos saluted the friendship and cooperation protocol signed between the mayors of Athens and Istanbul yesterday, stating that the Phanar has always supported the peaceful co-existence of the two neighboring peoples.
Receiving the Athens mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos -who led a business delegation- at the Phanar yesterday, Mr. Vartholomeos stated that economic ties solidify peace and bring the nations into communication, as they develop relations and extinguish mistrust and discrimination.
 EXHIBITION OF GREEK NATIONAL COSTUMES IN THE UNNew York, 18 February 2000 (18:19 UTC+2)
Nineteenth century national costumes from different parts of Greece are presented in the Greek National Costumes exhibition that was inaugurated in the UN general secretariat building in New York.
The exhibition, which is based on the Tsiouris family collection, will be open until February 27 and is organized by the Greek press office in New York in cooperation with the Association of Greek Employees in the United Nations.
 IOC PRESIDENT SURE OF ATHENS PERFORMANCESydney, 18 February 2000 (14:31 UTC+2)
The President of the International Olympic Committee Juan Antonio Samaranch has expressed his confidence in the organization of the Athens-held Olympics in 2004.
In Sydney for the IOC's executive committee meeting, Mr. Samaranch told reporters I want to reiterate that I am very happy Athens has undertaken the organization of the Olympic Games of 2004.
 US STRIKE A MATCH FOR BIN LADENS ARRESTWashington, 18 February 2000 (11:48 UTC+2)
U.S. State Department briefer James Rubin confirmed yesterday that the United States has taken its campaign for the arrest of suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden to Pakistan, the Middle East and Africa by printing and distributing matches with his picture and offering up to a five-million-dollar reward.
The message, printed in a number of languages, including English, French, Arabic, Dari, Baluchi and Urdu, simply states "Reward for Osama bin Laden" and promises confidentiality to the would-be informers.
According to Mr. Rubin, the matches carry a misprint of $500,000 instead of the actual "up to five million dollars" reward.
Sponsored by the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar, a city located on the Pakistan--Afghanistan border, the matches began circulating on Wednesday.
Osama bin Laden reportedly lives in Afghanistan, across the border from Peshawar, under the protection of the Taliban religious militia, which rules roughly 90 percent of that war-weary nation.
The Taliban say Mr. bin Laden is a guest and Afghani culture and tradition call for his protection.
The United States has banned all trade with and investment in Taliban-ruled areas. Last November the United Nations imposed limited sanctions on the Taliban, barring international flights by their national airlines and freezing their overseas accounts.
In addition to the matches, there were also reports of 100 rupee notes - worth about $2 - being circulated with a Pashtu-language message stamped on them announcing the reward and offering possible asylum or relocation to anyone with information leading to Mr. bin Laden's arrest.