Greek assistance to FYROM, made up of military equipment and medicines, was scheduled to leave the port of Thessaloniki yesterday and its transport should be completed within the next week, according to a report on Thessaloniki newspaper "Macedonia".
According to the same newspaper report, Greek National Defense General Staff press office director major Tottas confirmed the presence of FYROM army officers in Thessaloniki since last Tuesday, who have undertaken to inspect the military and medical assistance material kept in the storehouses at Thessaloniki's port and in army depots.
Greece will send to FYROM telecommunication material, ambulances, bulletproof vests, general use trucks and medicines.
According to military sources, the assistance is placed within the framework of the bilateral agreement that was signed last December by the defense ministers of Greece and FYROM.
Leader of the Greek opposition party Coalition of the Left Nikos Konstantopoulos will meet with FYROM president Boris Trajkovski, prime minister Ljupcko Georgievski, parliament president Stojan Antov and political party leaders to discuss the problems that have been created by the armed clashes at the borders of the country with Kosovo threatening the stability in the wider region.
Mr. Konstantopoulos will visit Skopje heading a Coalition of the Left delegation on March 13 and will return to Athens on the next day.
A strong earthquake, measuring 5 on the Richter scale, shook the southern Aegean island of Crete at 01:21pm today.
As it was made known by the Athens Observatory, the earthquake's epicenter was located at the sea region 360 kilometers southeast of Athens and east of the city of Ierapetra in Crete.
No injuries or damages were recorded.
A Greek Communist Party delegation will visit Skopje on Monday. The delegation will be made up of Central Committee member and head of International Relations Babis Angourakis and the party's Thessaloniki city committee member Giorgos Halvatzas.
The Communist Party officials will have meetings with representatives of political parties and organizations in FYROM to discuss the existing situation and the joint initiatives that can be undertaken.
Inflation in Greece in the month of February was 3.5% compared to 3.4% in January.
The announcement was made yesterday by the National Statistics Agency and the inflation increase is attributed to the fuel price hikes.
Part of the frieze of the temple of Epikourios Apollo, regarded as one of the most important monuments of the classical period after the Parthenon in Athens, has disappeared from the British Museum.
The missing sculpture was kept in a British Museum storehouse and it was recently placed at the frieze displayed in the museum. Greek culture minister Evangelos Venizelos was informed late last night on the disappearance by the Greek embassy in London.
The theft led to the collapse of the basic argument used by the British Museum in order to justify its refusal to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece namely, that there is allegedly a lack of security in Athens.
Mr. Venizelos stated to reporters that he has sent a letter to his British counterpart requesting to be informed in detail on the case.
The issue of the destruction of monuments in Afghanistan by the Taliban regime was raised in UNESCO by Greece. The issue was raised yesterday by the Greek delegation in the meeting of the committee for the protection of cultural heritage that was held in Cambodia.
The major issue that was scheduled to be discussed in the meeting was the need to find channels of understanding between the Greek and the British delegations in order to complete the contacts and the talks on the Parthenon Marbles. However, because of the very serious problem of vandalism in Afghanistan targeting Buddhist and other monuments, Greek culture minister Evangelos Venizelos instructed the Greek delegation to raise that specific issue in the meeting.
Afghanistan is a region of special interest for Greece as in that part of the world there are significant traces of the Greek history, namely, monuments dated back to the Hellenistic period. Mr. Venizelos stated that the issue was raised in order to achieve the formal mobilization of the UNESCO mechanism, adding that Greece is ready to offer any help for the protection of those monuments either on the spot or elsewhere.
The Albanian extremists under the guarantee of NATO will sign a ceasefire agreement that will put an end to violence in south Serbia as it was confirmed by Kosovo's Democratic Action party deputy leader Belul Nasuf.
Mr. Nasuf stated that the agreement will be signed in Koncul by representatives of the Presevo Liberation Army rebels and a NATO delegation.
Meanwhile, Yugoslav minister responsible for ethnic minorities Mr. Rasim Liazic stated that NATO's special envoy Peter Faith is expected to visit Bujanovac today for talks with Belgrade officials and then he will sign the ceasefire agreement. The Yugoslav minister stated that the Yugoslav side is ready to sign the agreement that will create the preconditions for a peace dialogue, adding that there must be guarantees for the implementation of sanctions on those who will violate the agreement.
Albania kept its distance from the armed groups that appeared in FYROM with the unanimous adoption of an important declaration by the Albanian parliament in which it is stressed that the Albanian people back stability in the region.
Meanwhile, the situation at FYROM's border region with Kosovo continues to be unsettled as there are armed clashes between Albanian separatists and FYROM security forces.
The situation continues to be very tense at the northern part of FYROM and in Presevo Valley in south Serbia, in spite of the strong warnings issued by NATO to the Albanian separatists, the intensification of the KFOR patrols at the FYROM-Kosovo borders and the fact that the Yugoslav forces got the "green light" to start patrolling at the neutral zone, along the borders with FYROM, possibly tomorrow.