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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-07-16

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] ALBANIAN HIJACKER SHOT AND KILLED, HOSTAGES UNHARMED
  • [02] AMERICAN DEFENCE SECRETARY VISITS TURKEY
  • [03] 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF TURKISH INVASION OF CYPRUS
  • [04] SALLAS GROUP ERGOBANK TAKEOVER BID APPROVED
  • [05] GREEK-SLOVENIAN MILITARY COOPERATION AGREEMENT
  • [06] BILL ON TRANSPLANTS TABLED IN PARLIAMENT
  • [07] GREECE AND HOLLAND URGE LIFTING OF SANCTIONS ON YUGOSLAVIA
  • [08] UN SECURITY COUNCIL APPEALS FOR SPEEDIER DEPLOYMENT OF KFOR
  • [09] SPECIAL REPORT ON RODOPI ENVIRONMENT

  • [01] ALBANIAN HIJACKER SHOT AND KILLED, HOSTAGES UNHARMED

    The Albanian hijacker, who held 8 hostages for 30 hours in a bus in Kilkis and demanded 250 million drachmas and two guns to release the passengers and flee to Albania, was shot and killed by Greek police, when they stormed the intercity bus yesterday afternoon. The police operation to free the hostages took place in the region of Palaistra near Florina and all the hostages escaped unharmed. Greek police had kept the bus under close surveillance since Wednesday night and were waiting for the right moment to intervene. According to press reports, the special police squad made its move when they realized that the armed Albanian was tired and ready to fall asleep. They grabbed the hand grenade he had been holding and threw it in a near-by field where it exploded. Finally, a police sniper shot and killed the Albanian hijacker. Prime minister Kostas Simitis was briefed on the operation by interior minister Vasso Papandreou and public order minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis and said he was satisfied with the handling of the issue by the ministers and the Greek police, also very pleased that the incident ended with no harm to the hostages. Mr Simitis said that the operation demonstrates that the authorities are able to deal with the challenge of the wave of economic refugees and even consolidate the sense of security which is something that citizens value most. The government has a series of measures which will be decisively implemented and the phenomenon will be wiped out, Mr Simitis said. Interior minister Vasso Papandreou congratulated all those who participated in the operation to free the hostages and stressed that the message was that the government's first concern was citizens' security. Public order minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis said the Greek police did its duty and the incident will be investigated thoroughly. Efforts to make the citizens feel secure will continue, he said.

    [02] AMERICAN DEFENCE SECRETARY VISITS TURKEY

    American defence secretary William Cohen, who is now on an official visit to Ankara, has stated that Greek-Turkish differences on the Cyprus issue should be resolved by the two countries, without a direct American intervention. Mr Cohen also said that the US supported a bizonal, bicommunal federation in Cyprus, adding that his country also backed the UN Security Council's appeal for direct talks.

    [03] 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF TURKISH INVASION OF CYPRUS

    Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the coup against Cypriot statesman, archbishop Makarios. The coup d'etat paved the way for the Turkish invasion and the occupation of 38 percent of the territory of the republic of Cyprus. The Cypriot house of representatives held an extraordinary session yesterday and condemned the double crime of the coup and the Turkish invasion, paying tribute to the people who died in that period. Cypriot president Glafkos Kliridis has stated that Turkey's aspiration has always been the recognition of the sovereignty of the Turkish Cypriots as a separate state with equal treatment and a rotating presidency. All these things, Mr Kliridis said, are the elements of a confederation and for this reason they were correctly rejected then, as they are rejected now. Speaking before the Turkish national assembly on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, Turkish Cypriot representative Rauf Denktash said that Cyprus was a national matter and that the Turkish Cypriots would not make concessions. He also reiterated that the international community should recognize the self-styled Turkish Cypriot state of northern Cyprus. The New York municipal council has issued a declaration condemning the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus as well as the use of weapons from America by the Turkish occupation forces.

    [04] SALLAS GROUP ERGOBANK TAKEOVER BID APPROVED

    The board of the Athens stock exchange has approved the bid of the Sallas group for the takeover of Ergobank as being legal in every aspect. On the Athens stock exchange, the general share price index went up by 1.60% yesterday, closing at 4,308.91 units.

    [05] GREEK-SLOVENIAN MILITARY COOPERATION AGREEMENT

    Greek national defense minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos yesterday signed with his Slovenian counterpart Franci Desman a treaty of military cooperation between Greece and Slovenia. Earlier, Mr Desman was received by Greek president Konstantinos Stefanopoulos.

    [06] BILL ON TRANSPLANTS TABLED IN PARLIAMENT

    A bill on the voluntary donation of human organs was tabled in parliament recently. The bill also provides for the possibility of removing organs from a dead donor, even though he never expressed such a wish while he was alive, on condition however that his close relatives are not opposed to this, as well as the creation of a special organization for transplants that will coordinate policy in the sector.

    [07] GREECE AND HOLLAND URGE LIFTING OF SANCTIONS ON YUGOSLAVIA

    After a meeting with the leader of the Serb opposition Wuk Drascovic yesterday, Greek foreign minister Yorgos Papandreou stated that Greece and Holland would jointly submit to the EU General Affairs Council on Monday a proposal regarding the lifting of the sanctions against Yugoslavia. Meanwhile, the scheduled visit to Athens today by the leader of the Yugoslav opposition Zoran Gigic has been postponed.

    [08] UN SECURITY COUNCIL APPEALS FOR SPEEDIER DEPLOYMENT OF KFOR

    The UN Security Council yesterday called on the international community to complete the deployment of the multinational peace force in Kosovo as soon as possible. The Security Council chairman has urged all the parties to cooperate with the peacekeeping force and the UN mission to the Serb province. In addition, the Security Council discussed the UN secretary general Kofi Annan's report that presents the situation in Kosovo as dismal and called for the deployment of a police force and judicial authority. In another development, hundreds of people held a rally in Krakujevac last night, demanding the resignation of Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic.

    [09] SPECIAL REPORT ON RODOPI ENVIRONMENT

    Scientists belonging to the organization Arcturus have stressed in a special report on the environment that the flora and fauna of the region of Rodopi needs to be protected, as all zones of vegetation to be found in the entire Europe have existed in Rodopi, northern Greece, since the ice age and its forests are a refuge for 211 rare species of animals threatened with extinction.
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