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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-01-07

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] ABNA HOLDS GAMES COVERAGE SEMINAR IN ATHENS
  • [02] MAIN OPPOSITION ACCUSES STATE OF COVER UP
  • [03] STATE RETRACTS DENIAL, ONE SOLDIER HAS LEUKEMIA
  • [04] GREEK SHIPPING REGISTER REPORTS NET GAINS
  • [05] CANADIAN DIPLOMAT SUPPORTS RETURN OF MARBLES
  • [06] IRISH PREMIER AHERN TO VISIT CYPRUS THIS WEEK

  • [01] ABNA HOLDS GAMES COVERAGE SEMINAR IN ATHENS

    Athens, 7 January 2001 (18:06 UTC+2)

    A seminar titled Sports and the Olympic Games in the Digital Era is to begin in Athens tomorrow, organized by the term president of the Association of Balkan News Agencies (ABNA), Athens News Agency (ANA).

    The purpose of the seminar/workshop will be to develop conditions for joint coverage of the Athens Games by ABNA members as well as to provide constant, reliable and the adequate news gathering for subscribers in the region. Held on January 8-9 at the Divani-Caravel Hotel in downtown Athens, the event will feature the participation of the general directors and 25 other officials from the ABNA member agencies - including the Macedonian Press Agency - from Albania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Greece, Moldova, FYROM, Romania and Turkey, as well as from Australia, venue of the recent 2000 Games.

    Greece's Special Secretary for the Olympic Games 2004, Mr. Kostas Kartalis will address the seminar, while Athens 2004 Olympics coordinating committee (ATHOC) President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki will be the keynote speaker at the official luncheon tomorrow.

    Speakers at the seminar include the chief of the Sports Department at the French news agency AFP Jean-Pierre Gallois, the Australian news agency AAP's organiser of the Sydney Olympic Games coverage John Coomber, the deputy head of the sports desk at German news agency DPA Hans-Mermann Madler, the sports editor at Britain's Press Association (PA) Andy Elliott, the assignment manager and chief photographer at EPA (European Photographic Agency) Anja Niedringhaus, and ATHOC press office director Serapheim Kotrotsos.

    On Tuesday afternoon, ABNA will hold its annual General Assembly.

    ABNA was established in June 1995, during a meeting of Balkan news agency directors in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, where the association's archives are housed.

    A.F.

    [02] MAIN OPPOSITION ACCUSES STATE OF COVER UP

    Athens, 7 January 2001 (18:04 UTC+2)

    After the Greek national defense general staff confirmed on Friday that one officer stationed in Bosnia three years ago has indeed been diagnosed with leukemia, the main opposition party of New Democracy is now accusing the government of having attempted to cover up incidences of leukemia among Greek troops serving in Yugoslavia.

    New Democracy President Costas Karamanlis accusing the ruling PASOK party of "attempting to downplay the issue and mislead public opinion.

    "This stance", he added, "heightens fears regarding the possible effects on the health of thousands of Greek soldiers who served in Kosovo and Bosnia over recent years."

    Meanwhile, New Democracy spokesman Thodoris Roussopoulos revealed on Friday a study carried out by the Democretian University of Thrace, with the participation of experts from Yugoslavia, Russia, Switzerland and Austria, which points to a serious rise in toxicity in the environment of Thrace and northern Greece in the wake of the Nato strikes.

    "The foreign ministry spokesman spoke of a lack of evidence [on Thursday]. Today, the Democretian university has given us the answer. The government, and the foreign ministry in particular, must account for burying this survey."

    Mr. Roussopoulos stated that Mr. Karamanlis has asked for a briefing on the matter by Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, which will be held today.

    A.F.

    [03] STATE RETRACTS DENIAL, ONE SOLDIER HAS LEUKEMIA

    Athens, 7 January 2001 (18:03 UTC+2)

    Following strenuous denials that any Greek troops had been affected by the so-called "Balkan Syndrome", the Defense Ministry has confirmed reports that a Greek soldier who had served in Bosnia is being treated for leukemia.

    "The possible relationship between the illness and the non-commissioned officer's service in Bosnia is being investigated," the combined chiefs of staff said in a statement.

    A complement of Greek general staff officers and medical experts will be traveling to Bosnia and Kosovo tomorrow, in order to examine an estimated 1,500 Greek peacekeepers stationed in that area.

    Meanwhile, there's been a increasing number of leukemia cases among KFOR soldiers who served in Kosovo and Bosnia, with the outbreak attributed to depleted uranium missiles fired by NATO in the area.

    According to an articled by "El Mundo", eight Spanish soldiers and volunteers stationed in Bosnia have been stricken by cancer, and one of them has already passed away. The article also reports that 20 more cases are presently under investigation.

    Also, both Italy and the Netherlands have reported that four soldiers have died from leukemia, while four more are presently hospitalized with the same ailment in France. Concurrently, the United Kingdom continues to refute the existence of any such cases among British soldiers.

    In Greece, Foreign Minister George Papandreou stated that

    "safety conditions covering the stationing of Greek officers and troops in Bosnia and Kosovo were and continue to be adhered to."

    The defense ministry said on Friday that tests carried out in the area by the Applied Physics Laboratory of the Thessaloniki technical institute failed to turn up anything suspicious.

    Nevertheless, the thousands of Greek soldiers who have served as peacekeepers in Bosnia and Kosovo in recent years are to undergo health inspections for possible health problems. from NATO's use of depleted uranium ammunition in the former Yugoslavia, the Defense Ministry announced yesterday.

    Depleted uranium rounds were mainly used by NATO aircraft in western Kosovo, where Italian and German units are now stationed.

    A.F.

    [04] GREEK SHIPPING REGISTER REPORTS NET GAINS

    Athens, 7 January 2001 (18:01 UTC+2)

    The Greek Shipping Register made net gains of 55 vessels and 1,776,039 register tons in 2000.

    Additions to the register were 143, representing a total capacity of 4,173,034 register tons, while withdrawals numbered 88, amounting to a total capacity of 2,406, 055 register tons.

    In December, nine ships were added and an equal number withdrew for the shipping registers of the USA, Cyprus, Germany, Sweden and Liberia.

    A.F.

    [05] CANADIAN DIPLOMAT SUPPORTS RETURN OF MARBLES

    Athens, 7 January 2001 (18:00 UTC+2)

    Canada's Minister of Highways and Government Services and secretary of the Canadian Committee for the Return of the Parthenon Marbles, Steve Ashton, presently visiting Athens, has reiterated his support for the return of the 5th century BC friezes to Greece.

    During a tour of the Acropolis , Mr. Ashton told the press that it was his dream to see the Marbles returned to the Parthenon, "where they belong", by the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

    He further stressed that the Marbles must be returned to Greece, "now", noting Greece's immense contribution to Canada and the world throughout history. He added that it was time that Canada and the world returned something to Greece.

    A.F.

    [06] IRISH PREMIER AHERN TO VISIT CYPRUS THIS WEEK

    Nicosia, 7 January 2001 (18:05 UTC+2)

    Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern is to conduct a two-day official visit to Cyprus from January 9 to 10, where he will be received by President Glafcos Clerides and government officials.

    Premier Ahern is to arrive on Tuesday and will travel to the Presidential Palace for official talks with the president, who will welcome him.

    Present at the talks will be Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, Finance Minister Takis Clerides and Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Nicos Rolandis.

    Mr. Ahern will lay a wreath at the statue of the late Archbishop Makarios III, the Republic's first president, and will inspect a guard of honor. After the talks, there will be a press conference.

    In the afternoon the Irish premier will meet with the President of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vassilis Rologis and address Cypriot businessmen. Before leaving on Wednesday, Ahern will meet House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou and Cyprus' chief negotiator with the European Union George Vassiliou.

    A.F.


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