|Monday, 10 August 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-10-30
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 MPA TO HONOR THE MEMORY OF ITS LATE PRESIDENTThessaloniki, 30 October 2000 (10:46 UTC+2)
The Macedonian Press Agency is mourning the loss of the president of its board of directors professor Pavlos Petrides, who died early Saturday morning from heart failure at the age of 54. He will be laid to rest tomorrow, October 31, at the church of Aghia Sophia in Thessaloniki.
The MPA will honor its the memory of its late president, as per a series of resolutions drawn at a special board session wherein it decided that the entire board will attend his funeral together. The board members also decided that a GRD500,000 award of ethics and integrity will be established in the honor of the late Petrides, to be bestowed annually upon a select member of the MPA staff.
A distinguished scholar and academic, professor Petrides contribution and leadership were instrumental in the organization's rapid development and institutional advancement into a leading source of news pertaining to the Balkans, regional economies, and the Greek community abroad.
With his invaluable guidance and input, the MPA organized four successful Balkan conferences themed after regional cooperation, as well as two symposiums concerning Rigas Velestinlis and Eleftherios Venizelos-Alexandros Papanastasiou.
He will be missed.
 INNER CABINER TO EXAMINE 2001 BUDGET TOMORROWAthens, 30 October 2000 (11:09 UTC+2)
The 2001 state budget, which is to be tabled in Parliament on November 1, will be examined by the inner cabinet tomorrow and a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, both chaired by Prime Minister Costas Simitis, the Premier's press office announced.
According to the announcement, the budget's main characteristic will be its social aspect, combined with overall economic policy. The new budget is expected to call for a tight fiscal policy, with wage increases amounting 3.5% for salaried workers, and a 5.5 percent increase for pensions. Meanwhile, the euro's downward slide, combined with the rising oil prices, are exerting intense inflationary pressures, driving the state to search for ways to contain market prices. Additionally, the dollar's vertical trend is also another burden for the state's deficit, while concerns have also arisen over the course of privatizations.
 G/T BUSINESS CONFERENCE IN ATHENS THIS WEEKAthens, 30 October 2000 (11:08 UTC+2)
The second Greek-Turkish business cooperation conference will be held in Athens on November 2-3, titled Greece - Turkey - EU: Opportunities for business and economic cooperation.
Turkey's former vice-president and ex-foreign minister Mesut Yilmaz will be taking part in the conference heading the Turkish delegation and will be a keynote speaker. According to reports, Mr. Yilmaz is expected to meet with Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Foreign Minister George Papandreou.
The two-day event will tackle issues pertaining to the will have the opportunity to be briefed by EU commissioners on community regulations regarding trade and business activities. Moreover, the conference will provide the opportunity for the formation of joint ventures in the Black Sea region and central Asian countries.
The conference is to feature the participation of over 300 business delegates from Turkey, Greece and other EU countries, as well as government officials from both countries and EU commissioners.
 REPPAS: THE ROLE OF THE US IS DECISIVE FOR THE SOLUTION OF THE CYPRUS PROBLEMAthens, 30 October 2000 (18:16 UTC+2)
The United States and the country's president himself have a decisive role to play in reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem, but unfortunately there has been no positive development yet which is very sad, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas when asked to comment on the statements made by president Clinton regarding the Cyprus problem.
Mr. Reppas added that what is important is not to reach conclusions examining the problem in retrospect or to make pledges in view of an election race. He said that what is important is to work continuously until there is finally a solution to the Cyprus problem, reiterating that a solution must be reached within the framework of the UN decisions.
 THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN ON THE GREEK-TURKISH RELATIONSAthens, 30 October 2000 (18:03 UTC+2)
The statements like the recent one made by Turkish government vice-president Mesut Yilmaz offer negative services to the Greek-Turkish relations, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas.
Specifically, the government spokesman stated that if the statements attributed to Mr. Yilmaz are correct then he does not speak the language of friendship and offers negative services.
Mr. Yilmaz had stated that after every handshake in Greece one must count his fingers to see if he is missing any of them.
Regarding the exercise "Destined Glory", he reiterated that NATO appeared weak to make the allies and in this case, Turkey, comply with what was agreed from the beginning.
Finally, regarding Turkey's overall stance he reiterated that it should harmonize with the international legal order and implement the international law.
 THE GREEK-TURKISH AGREEMENTS WERE FROZENAthens, 30 October 2000 (17:02 UTC+2)
Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou expressed his strong discontent to parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis concerning last week's decision by the responsible parliamentary committee to freeze the nine agreements on low policy issues signed by Greece and Turkey.
It should be noted that when the Greek-Turkish tourist cooperation agreement was presented to the production and commerce committee the political parties had voted in favor. However, after the provocative stance displayed by Ankara during the "Destined Glory" NATO exercise, the Greek political parties agreed to call on the parliament president to delay the ratification of the nine agreements by the parliament's plenary session until Turkey clarifies its intentions.
Mr. Papandreou stressed to Mr. Kaklamanis that it is to the interest not only of Turkey but of Greece as well to bring those agreements to parliament for ratification in time. The parliament president assured him that there will be no delay and all agreements will be ratified as scheduled.
 THE PRIME MINISTER EXPRESSED HIS GRIEF FOR PAVLOS PETRIDIS' DEATHThessaloniki, 30 October 2000 (16:45 UTC+2)
Prime minister Kostas Simitis in a statement he made expressed his grief for the death of Pavlos Petridis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki political and constitutional history professor and MPA board of directors' president.
Minister of press and government spokesman Dimitris Reppas expressed his deep grief for the loss of professor Petridis, a public figure, who was an excellent scientist characterized by a high sense of morality. He said that he had a successful term in MPA as president of its board of directors, adding that MPA has offered a lot to the area of information and this is due to Pavlos Petridis to a great degree.
Meanwhile, his funeral will be held at public expense tomorrow after a decision by minister of culture Theodoros Pangalos.
Professor Pavlos Petridis died last Saturday in the early morning hours from heart failure at the age of 54.
Also, Athens News Agency board of directors president and general director Andreas Christodoulakis and the ANA staff sent their condolences to MPA for the loss of its president.
 CORRUPTION PERVADES PUBLIC LIFE, NOT JUST POLITICSAthens, 30 October 2000 (13:38 UTC+2)
An overwhelming majority (91.5 percent ) of Greeks find that corruption is not limited to the political sector but, rather, pervades most forms of public life, and that to a large degree. According to a nationwide survey, conducted by the Opinion polling firm, 54.8 percent of the respondents believe that corruption is most evident in politics, while 60.4% maintain that its occurrence is equally prevalent in all parties.
As far as popularity ratings go, on a scale of one to ten, Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos ranks first with 7.79, followed by the Archbishop of Athens and All of Greece Christodoulos with 7.39, music composer Mikis Theodorakis with 6.68 and Athens 2004 Organizing Committee President Yianna Aggelopoulou with 5.96.
In regards to the identification card issue, 42.8 percent of those polled are in total agreement with the Church's stance (i.e. to include one's religious affiliation on the state-issued I.D. cards), and 46.8 percent wholly support the Church's relevant referendum. A.F.
 INTERPOL HOLDS ANNUAL ASSEMBLY IN RHODESRhodes, 30 October 2000 (12:56 UTC+2)
With a focus on combating organized crime, Interpol's annual general assembly got underway at the island of Rhodes today.
Six major issues which will also be examined are funding for the struggle against terrorism, crimes in the Internet, drug trafficking, economic crimes, money laundering and illegal immigration. A.F.
 BALKAN POST OFFICE UNIONS MEET IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 30 October 2000 (11:07 UTC+2)
The first Balkan Postal Conference is to get underway in Thessaloniki today, featuring the participation of delegations from Balkan post office unions.
The two-day event will be addressed by the Minister of Macedonia-Thrace George Paschalides and the Minister of Transportation and Communications -responsible for post office matters- Alekos Voulgaris, as well as labor union officials from Greece.
The participants are to discuss a wide variety of issues, including peace, solidarity and cooperation in the Balkan region, as well as developments in the postal sector and their consequences in the sectors of finance and labor.
 PLASKOVITIS' VISIT TO SOFIASofia, 30 October 2000 (18:55 UTC+2)
There is no separation into groups of the EU candidate-states as the progress of each country is assessed based on its achievements, stressed in Sofia Greek foreign ministry general secretary responsible for European issues, Ilias Plaskovitis after the meeting he had yesterday with the Bulgarian foreign affairs undersecretary, Vladimir Kisiov, heading the Bulgarian negotiating team in the EU accession negotiations.
Mr. Plaskovitis also stressed that Greece wants to help Bulgaria in its negotiations with the European Union. In addition, the two sides examined the training potential in Greece for Bulgarians specializing in the sectors of economy, public administration and customs agencies.
 ROMPRES SENT ITS CONDOLENCES FOR THE LOSS OF PAVLOS PETRIDISBucharest, 30 October 2000 (18:33 UTC+2)
Romania's news agency ROMPRES sent its condolences to MPA for the loss of its board of directors' president Pavlos Petridis, who died last Saturday from heart failure at the age of 54.
It is stressed that the news of his sudden death were shocking, while it is mentioned that he did a remarkable job as the president of MPA and he was widely recognized as a respected university professor and author.
ROMPRES also writes that he was a dear and respected colleague and collaboration with him was rewarding both at a bilateral level and in the Balkan News Agencies' conferences.
 KOSOVO: OSCE TO ANNOUNCE OFFICIAL RESULTS TODAYPrishtina, 30 October 2000 (13:51 UTC+2)
The first official results of the municipal elections held in Kosovo ( the first in the province's post-war era) on Saturday are to be announced by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) today.
According to the Serb media, the leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Ibrahim Rugova is ahead in 19 out of the 30 municipalities that have had their ballots counted.
As the "Glas Javnosti" daily reported, the leader of the formerly-known-as Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) and presently called Democratic party of Kosovo Hasim Thaci has conceded defeat in five municipalities.
The final results are expected to be announced by OSCE by next Tuesday, at the latest.
 DEFICIT OF 1 BILLION EURO IN THE EURO-ZONE TRADE BALANCE IN AUGUSTBrussels, 30 October 2000 (17:18 UTC+2)
The trade balance in the Euro-zone in the month of August had a deficit of 1 billion Euro, according to the initial estimates by the European statistics agency, Eurostat.
The trade balance in the Euro-zone presents a negative picture compared to August 1999, when there was surplus of 2.6 billion Euro. The economic analysts believe that the basic cause of the existing situation is the rapid increase in the cost of the imported sources of energy.
According to the available figures, the trade balance in the Euro-zone showed a surplus of 6.9 billion Euro in the first eight months of the year 2000 which is notably decreased compared to the same period last year when it was 37.9 billion Euro.
 «MAD COW» HUMAN FORM RESISTANT TO STERILIZATIONNew Orleans, 30 October 2000 (14:57 UTC+2)
The human form of the "mad cow" disease, officially known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), may be resistant to sterilization, according to recent reports from Tulane University Hospital in New Orleans where eight patients who recently underwent operation with possibly infected medical instruments are now at risk for contracting the fatal disorder.
According to a recent article posted on the Internet's Salon magazine, eight individuals who underwent neurosurgical procedures at Tulane, are presently at risk of having contracted CJD; the instruments used in their operations had been used on an another patient who suffered from CJD, as a later autopsy revealed.
CJD is the human form of mad cow disease and occurs in about one in a million people worldwide. It is believed to be spread by prions, mysterious rogue proteins that are not really alive and thus cannot be "killed." Resistant to heat and radiation, prions are unaffected by standard sterilization procedures used for disinfecting medical instruments.
According to hospital officials, the instruments were cleaned and sterilized each time following routine procedures. Weeks later, when the autopsy was conducted, the hospital ordered the surgical instruments destroyed, but they had already been used on the other eight patients, according to Dr. Alan Miller, Tulane University Health Sciences Center vice president for clinical affairs.
Because the incubation period for CJD can be decades long and the disease is generally confirmed only through an autopsy, the eight living surgery patients will have to wait an extremely long time to find out if they have been contaminated. They are receiving counseling and "related medical care," Dr. Miller said in a prepared statement.
According to Salon, this is not the first time contaminated surgical equipment has been implicated in the spread of CJD; in 1977, two teenagers in Switzerland developed the incurable disease after having undergone surgery for brain tumors. The electrodes that apparently transmitted CJD had been cleaned, disinfected and sterilized using benzene, alcohol and formaldehyde.
Another example occurred last year in England after a woman suffering from depression and mood swings underwent Caesarian section. When doctors diagnosed her with probable CJD in January, the hospital was "able to ascertain seven other women had had Caesarian sections using this theater kit," according to Dr. Rod Griffiths, West Midlands director of public health.