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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-02-28
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 TSOCHATZOPOULOS: THERE IS INDICATION FOR A FAIR SOLUTION TO THE CYPRUS PROBLEMThessaloniki, 28 February 2000 (16:13 UTC+2)
Minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos, speaking in a gathering of Greek Forces in Cyprus Veterans in northern Greece in Thessaloniki, referred to the prospects for the solution of the Cyprus problem created after the finalizing of Cyprus' accession into the European Union based on the Helsinki summit decision.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stressed that now there is a first indication for a fair solution to the Cyprus problem through the accession of Cyprus into the European Union.
The minister of defense also pointed out that Turkey realizes that it can not survive by itself and seeks the support of Europe. He said that Turkey's obligation to implement the international law in its relations with the neighboring countries on the basis of friendship, peace and cooperation, as imposed by the European Union, constitute a new level of contact through which Cyprus and Greece will claim the promotion of political targets which was unthinkable 25 years ago.
 STATEMENTS BY MR. MIGARELI TO MPAThessaloniki, 28 February 2000 (18:22 UTC+2)
The offices of the Organization for the Reconstruction of south-eastern Europe will open in Thessaloniki before the end of the month and its budget for the year 2000 will be at 150 million Euro.
Commenting on the scenarios according to which, the organization's agencies in Thessaloniki will not have essential responsibilities as the reconstruction work will be largely coordinated by the Pristina staff, general director of the organization Mr. Migareli stated that such scenarios are unfounded and clarified that the activities for the reconstruction of south-eastern Europe will be divided between Thessaloniki and Pristina.
 THE PRIME MINISTERS OF GREECE AND PORTUGAL MET IN ATHENS TODAYAthens, 28 February 2000 (18:15 UTC+2)
Prime minister of Portugal Antonio Gutieres currently holding the EU rotating presidency met in Athens today with his Greek counterpart Kostas Simitis.
The two prime ministers focused on the issue of employment in view of the extraordinary European Council meeting that will take place in Lisbon on March 23 and 24.
In statements he made after the meeting, Mr. Simitis pointed out that the government's priority in the next four years will be employment and social cohesion.
Mr. Gutieres characterized the Greek policy as constructive and congratulated the prime minister on the improvement of the Greek-Turkish relations.
 REPPAS ON THE DEVELOPMENTS IN KOSOVOAthens, 28 February 2000 (18:11 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas commented on the developments in Kosovo and stated that the situation in the region is tense.
However, he stated that even though there is concern over the developments in Kosovo the situation is nowhere near a new war crisis like that of last year.
 BIG LOSSES RECORDED IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 28 February 2000 (16:26 UTC+2)
The week opened with big losses of 3.24% for the Athens Stock Exchange and the general index closed at 5034.55 points.
The main characteristic of today's session was the low volume of transactions which reached 156.9 billion drachmas, while stock market circles underlined that there was a lack of purchasing interest.
Only 9 of the stocks trading today had an upward course, while 335 recorded losses and 20 remained stable.
 FOREIGN INVESTORS WANT OPENNESS IN THE GREEK STOCK MARKETAthens, 28 February 2000 (16:26 UTC+2)
All foreign investors want above all a stock market with open and clear terms of operation, according to the Bloomberg news agency.
Concerning the stock value the foreign investors believe that the sudden fluctuations do not create the necessary preconditions for long-term investments but for short-term profit making.
Regarding the level of the stock prices in the Athens Stock Exchange, foreign investors pointed out that the Greek capital market would have been more attractive if it offered stocks that combined satisfactory levels of profit making prospects.
Also, according to the Bloomberg news agency, problems are being created in certain cases by the way the news on the stock market and the companies trading in the Athens Stock Exchange are being covered.
 GREEK-TURKISH DIPLOMATIC MEETING IN ANKARAAnkara, 28 February 2000 (16:18 UTC+2)
High ranking officials from the foreign ministries of Greece and Turkey are meeting in Ankara today to launch a cooperation on issues concerning the European Union, while Greece will also offer know-how to Turkey.
The joint working group of Greek and Turkish diplomats will try to find ways for Turkey to acquire Greece's experience from its accession into the European family.
The talks will last two days and will focus on issues of legislation harmonization, economic packages for the EU candidate states and the EU's political enlargement.
The Greek and Turkish diplomats are expected to repeat their talks in Athens in the following weeks.
 A GREEK COMPANY BOUGHT OUT A PERLITE MINE IN TURKEYAnkrara, 28 February 2000 (16:17 UTC+2)
A Greek company bought out a perlite mine in the Biga region at the Tsanakale province in Turkey and production started today.
The Greek company "Pasot" bought out the managing rights of the Saba Mining Perlite Installations and according to the Turkish manager of the company, the perlite will be mined as a raw material used extensively in the farm, construction and industrial sectors and it will be exported to South Africa and European countries after it is processed in Greece.
 BULGARIA'S SARAKATSANI WANT THE GREEK NATIONALITYSofia, 28 February 2000 (16:17 UTC+2)
Three hundred Sarakatsani, who live in Bulgaria, signed a declaration asking Athens to grant them the Greek nationality without having to leave their homes. The above were published on Sofia's opposition newspaper "Sega", clarifying that the declaration in question was signed by the residents of the village of Gorno Sahrane, near the city of Pavel Banja.
According to the newspaper, the demand expressed by them found the leadership of the Confederation of the Cultural Associations of Sarakatsani unprepared.
Confederation president Yiannis Bletsov stressed that the organization of the Sarakatsani has warm relations with Greece clarifying however, that the issue of double nationality has not been discussed yet.
It should be reminded that the Sarakatsani in Bulgaria are about 20.000 and 15.000 of them are registered with the Sliven based Confederation of Cultural Associations of the Sarakatsani.
 ONE HUNDRED GREEK KFOR SOLDIERS WILL BE SENT TO MITROVICAMitrovica, 28 February 2000 (16:13 UTC+2)
About 100 Greek KFOR soldiers, who had been deployed in Urosevac, south of the Kosovo capital of Pristina, will be sent to Mitrovica tomorrow to reinforce the NATO peacekeeping forces.
The transfer of the Greek soldiers from Urocevac to Mitrovica is being placed within the overall KFOR troop movement to the city in order to deal effectively with the wave of violence between the Serb and the ethnic Albanians living in the city.
Its should be noted that it is the third mission of the Greek soldiers in the city as on January 26-30 and on February 15-19 they had reinforced the KFOR forces again.
 GREEK AUTHOR GIORGOS HIMONAS DIED IN PARIS YESTERDAYParis, 28 February 2000 (18:15 UTC+2)
Greek author Giorgos Himonas died in Paris yesterday from heart failure at the age of 60. He was born in the north-eastern Greek city of Kavala and studied neuro-psychiatry in Paris.
A letter of condolences was sent to his family by Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis, who described Giorgos Himonas as a great creator and visionary with a critical mind.
 THE EU DEFENSE MINISTERS MEET IN LISBONLisbon, 28 February 2000 (18:14 UTC+2)
The European Union ministers of defense are meeting in Lisbon, Portugal to examine security issues. Among others they will consider the establishment of a European peacekeeping force able to deal with possible crises.
Greece is represented in the meeting by minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos, who pointed out that the recent crisis in Kosovo has underlined the need for an intervention by the European Union which is responsible for the promotion of the stability pact and the preparation for crises situations.