|Tuesday, 29 September 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-02-01
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 PM: ęCENSURE MOTION AIMS AT RUINING ECONOMYĽAthens, 1 February 2001 (11:05 UTC+2)
In a meeting with ruling PASOK party deputies yesterday, Prime Minister Costas Simitis accused the conservative main opposition New Democracy party of attempting to degrade the government's performance in the economy with its motion for a vote of censure against the Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou.
Mr. Simitis stated that the censure motion is aiming at ruining the economy, while he added that the criterion for the state's economic policy cannot be the performances of the stock exchange, but, instead, the real progress of the economy.
The Premier also said that the government's main concern at present is fighting unemployment, while he added that PASOK has opened a front against corruption.
"We are all judged by our actions and by the work we offer in serving the public interest," he stated.
 YOUNG AMERICAN RUNAWAY FOUND IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 1 February 2001 (11:46 UTC+2)
Police in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, have discovered the 15-year-old American girl who was missing for several months from her Florida home, believed to have been lured here by a German male felon (resident of Thessaloniki) whom she met on the Internet.
According to the police report, Lindsey Shamrock, was discovered in an apartment in Thessaloniki last night and will be returned to her family.
The man, 35-year-old Frantz Konstantin Baehring, has not been located yet, although a warrant for his arrest has been issued in Florida, on charges of interfering with parental custody. The Greek authorities are expected to enforce the warrant. Baehring reportedly served time in Thessaloniki's prison for fraud and afterwards took up permanent residence in Greece.
Also, two people have been arrested in the US on charges of helping the girl travel to Greece.
According to the Associated Press, a 24-year-old woman from Florida is accused of bringing the girl an airline ticket to Ohio and driving her to Tampa for her flight.
US authorities have also arrested a 41-year-old man, identified as Robert Arnder of Dennison, Ohio, who pleaded innocent to a 308-count indictment that includes rape and other charges against other minors. As AP reported, the girl stayed with Arnder for about two weeks, and he helped her obtain a passport and fly to Greece.
 A WRESTLING ATHLETE SUFFERED A PARALYZING NECK INJURY DURING PRACTICEThessaloniki, 1 February 2001 (19:35 UTC+2)
Eighteen-year-old wrestler Yiannis Simeonidis suffered a severe neck injury during practice on January 18 and is still in the intensive care unit of Thessaloniki's Ippokration Hospital in a critical condition. According to the doctors, the athlete will be a quadriplegic.
The members of the Association of Wrestling Referees expressed their sensitivity by depositing a considerable sum of money to the bank account that has been opened in the National Bank of Greece (account number: 51009541) in the name of the athlete's father Eleftherios Simeonidis and Association of Wrestling Clubs in central-western Macedonia president Giorgos Pozidis.
The parents of the young athlete want a large sum of money in order to be able to take their son abroad for treatment.
 THE POLISH OLYMPIC COMMITTEE VISITED THE "ATHENS 2004" ORGANIZATIONAthens, 1 February 2001 (19:05 UTC+2)
The Polish Olympic Committee completed its visit to Athens aimed at the briefing of its representatives on the progress of the preparations works for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
It should be noted that a Belgian Olympic Committee delegation will visit Athens on February 6-9 followed by the Japanese and the French Olympic Committees on February 12-14 and February 22-24 respectively.
It is estimated that based on the experience in Sydney, Athens will be visited by about 60-70 Olympic Committee delegations before the end of the year.
 SIMITIS: TODAY'S VOTE WILL BE A VOTE OF CONFIDENCE FOR THE GOVERNMENTAthens, 1 February 2001 (18:48 UTC+2)
The vote of the parliament deputies tonight will be a vote of confidence for the government, stated prime minister Kostas Simitis in today's cabinet meeting.
Acting government spokesman Tilemachos Hitiris stated that Mr. Simitis stressed that the censure motion tabled by the right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy is a censure motion targeting the country's economic course and not minister of national economy Yiannos Papantoniou.
The prime minister accused New Democracy of using these methods trying to hurt the economy and take advantage of the problem faced by investors, underlining that it has failed.
Mr. Hitiris stated that the main opposition party does not have the support of the people and the market.
 ATHENS EXPRESSED CONCERN AND CONDEMNED STRONGLY THE INCIDENTS IN PRESEVOAthens, 1 February 2001 (17:57 UTC+2)
Athens expressed its strong concern regarding the incidents in Presevo and speculated that there is a risk for a new tension hotbed to be created in the region.
The Greek foreign ministry condemned the incidents and foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou is in constant communication with Skopje, Belgrade and Tirana as well as NATO secretary-general, the UN secretary-general and the Swedish foreign minister.
Mr. Papandreou suggested that there must be a kind of supervision in the area by the OSCE and stressed that a message must be sent to extremists that they will not succeed in their effort to destabilize the wider region.
In a statement issued by the Greek foreign ministry it is mentioned that the Kosovars and the KFOR are called to take decisive measures for the protection of the international military force and all the Christian Orthodox monuments in the region.
In the same statement it is stressed that the continuing attacks by Albanian extremists targeting Serbs cause concern and instability in the region of south Serbia and especially in FYROM.
It is also pointed out that Greece has a strong interest in restoring calm and avert any destabilizing action, while it also calls for the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1244.
 THE COOPERATION BETWEEN GREECE AND IRAN IN THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR IS SATISFACTORYThessaloniki, 1 February 2001 (17:20 UTC+2)
This year the cooperation between Greece and Iran in the agricultural sector focuses on the use of new technologies in the modernization of the irrigation networks and the more effective management of water resources.
The above were stressed to MPA by Iranian undersecretaries of agriculture Gholamreza Hosseinifar and Mohammad Ali Tahmasebi, who are in Thessaloniki on the occasion of the 17th Agrotica Agricultural Exhibition.
They stated that the Greek-Iranian cooperation got a different dimension after the signing of a cooperation protocol in 1999 and expressed satisfaction over the results achieved so far. They also stated that Iran is interested in the cultivation of olive trees and the issue has been discussed repeatedly.
 THE US STATE DEPARTMENT ON THE STATEMENTS MADE BY THE GREEK PARLIAMENT PRESIDENTAthens, 1 February 2001 (16:54 UTC+2)
The US State Department spokesman strongly criticized the statements made by Greek parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis after the meeting he had last Friday with a US House of Representatives delegation in Athens.
According to the BBC radio, the US State Department spokesman stated that the United States are surprised and disappointed by the fact that Mr. Kaklamanis presented the Greek-US cooperation in an incorrect way, while he characterized as unacceptable and out of touch with reality the statements made by the Greek parliament president.
The US State Department spokesman stressed that Washington backs the efforts to tackle terrorism and cooperation with the Greek government is very good, a fact recognized by the Greek government itself.
According to the BBC, the United States will not dictate to the Greek government what it should do on the issue that has been created with Mr. Kaklamanis, adding that Washington did not have any other choice than to react to the unacceptable accusations.
Responding to comments according to which, there is pressure in view of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, the US official stated that the United States want safe games.
 THE AREA W…‘« THE RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL WAS BEING WATCHED FOR OVER THREE MONTHSThessaloniki, 1 February 2001 (16:50 UTC+2)
The state agencies were watching discreetly for over three months the region of the forest of Kouri in Asvestochori near Thessaloniki, where the radioactive material were found buried, according to the newspaper "Angelioforos".
The 520 plutonium and americium tables were located by the economic crime police which acted after information it had received concerning a radioactive and chemical materials illegal trade ring.
According to the police authorities, the radioactive material was possibly stolen from Ukrainian storage areas after the break up of the former Soviet Union, while it is still a mystery how it arrived in the area where it was buried.
 LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 1 February 2001 (16:23 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped by 0.52% at 3.247,87 points, while the volume of transactions was impressive at 271.20 million Euro or 92.41 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 73 had gains and 266 recorded losses, while the value of 37 stocks remained unchanged.
 THE CORONARY DISEASE IS ON THE RISE IN GREECEThessaloniki, 1 February 2001 (16:20 UTC+2)
The coronary disease and the cerebral strokes showed an increase of 30-40% in Greece in the past decade, while in western Europe and the United States they are on the decline.
The above were announced by Thessaloniki's Aristotle University pathology professor and director of the preparatory pathology clinic Giorgos Ziakas in a Greek medical conference that is being held in Thessaloniki
According to Mr. Ziakas, the increase observed in Greece is attributed to the increased cholesterol in the blood, the arterial hypertension and cigarette smoking, while the decline in western Europe is attributed to the implementation of preventive medicine and the improved information that reaches the public.
 US: ęGREEK SPEAKER IS OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITYĽWashington, 1 February 2001 (14:02 UTC+2)
The US State Department has officially expressed its "surprise" and "disappointment" over the criticism regarding US-Greek anti-terrorism cooperation asserted by the President of the Hellenic Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis to a visiting delegation of US congressmen.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher stated that "we were surprised and disappointed by the fact that Mr. Kaklamanis defined in this erroneous manner the anti-terrorist cooperation between the two countries."
He further added that "I would like to underline that we are closely cooperating with the Simitis government in order to support its efforts against terrorism. We absolutely respect Greek sovereignty and state authority. We have been helping Greece in this sector for many years now. We have also expressed strong public support to Greece's anti-terrorist efforts, especially after last year's assassination of a British official. We have made clear that we absolutely support the safe holding of the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004".
Stressing that Greece and the US are very close partners, Mr. boucher also stated that "we believe that Mr. Kaklamanis is out of touch with what is happening regarding the excellent relations between the two states.
"The accusation that we are in a certain way using terrorism to undermine the Olympics is simply erroneous and I will dismiss it" he concluded.
 PROTOCOL OF COOPERATION BETWEEN ERT-3 AND THE BULGARIAN STATE TELEVISIONSofia, 1 February 2001 (17:07 UTC+2)
A protocol of cooperation was signed by Greek state television channel ERT-3 and the Bulgarian state television presidents Dimitris Katsantonis and Radomir Tsolakov. The protocol was signed in Sofia yesterday in the presence of Greek ambassador Michalis Christidis.
It provides for the exchange of television programs, news of political, economic, cultural and sports interest as well as co-productions.
 CALM IN MITROVICA AFTER THE INCIDENTS CAUSED BY ALBANIANS TARGETING THE GREEK FORCEKosovska Mitrovica, 1 February 2001 (16:42 UTC+2)
Kosovska Mitrovica is calm after last night's incidents caused by Albanian protesters targeting the Greek force deployed in the region.
The men of the 507th Mechanized battalion were caught in the middle of the clashes that erupted between the KFOR peacekeeping force and Albanian protesters. About 150 Albanians armed with stones and molotov cocktail bombs attempted to forcible enter the Christian Orthodox church of St. Savvas which was guarded by Greek soldiers, who managed to turn them back by shooting warning shots in the air.
The incidents were the most serious of the past few months and have caused strong concern in the international community as there are fears for an escalation of the tension. According to Flash.gr, Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou had telephone contacts with NATO officials while Greece's ambassador to Belgrade Michalis Spinellis visited regions in southern Serbia on Tuesday night and met with local officials who presented to him the situation in detail.
According to the KFOR press center, 23 soldiers of the peacekeeping force and members of the UN international police were injured in yesterday's incidents. As it was made known, there were no Greek soldiers among the injured.
 EBRD APPROVED A US$50 MILLION CREDIT FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF AN OIL PIPELINE BY "HELLENIC PETROLEUM"London, 1 February 2001 (18:11 UTC+2)
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) approved a US$50 million credit for the construction of a 221 kilometers long oil pipeline by the "Hellenic Petroleum" company that will link Thessaloniki with Skopje, according to the Skopjan news agency MIA.
The overall construction cost of the project is estimated at US$105 million and "Hellenic Petroleum" will contribute with the sum of US$55 million.
The oil pipeline will be able to carry 2.5 million tons of oil a year.