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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-02-02

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH
Thessaloniki, February 2, 1999

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] WEATHER SLIGHTLY IMPROVES BUT MANY VILLAGES REMAIN CUT OFF
  • [02] TEACHERS FEDERATION TO CONVENE TODAY, STUDENT PROTESTS ABATE
  • [03] DELEGATION OF ALBANIAN DEPUTIES VISITS HELLENIC PARLIAMENT
  • [04] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER RECEIVES SWEDISH COUNTERPART
  • [05] GREECE PROVIDES COLOMBIA WITH AID AND PRE-BUILT HOUSES
  • [06] PREMIER RECEIVES GREEK EU COMMISSIONER CHRISTOS PAPOUTSIS
  • [07] SPD DELEGATION IN ATHENS, MEETS WITH STATE OFFICIALS
  • [08] REPPAS: OCALAN DID NOT COME TO GREECE
  • [09] PANGALOS-BURNS MEETING ON OCALAN
  • [10] MEASURES TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TEACHING HOURS WILL BE ANNOUNCED BY ARSENIS
  • [11] 235 VILLAGES ARE CUT OFF BY SNOW ACROSS THE COUNTRY
  • [12] SIMITIS-SOLANA MEETING IN ATHENS ON THURSDAY
  • [13] KOSTAS KARAMANLIS WILL ATTEND THE EUROPEAN POPULAR PARTY CONFERENCE
  • [14] TSOCHATZOPOULOS ON THE S-300 AND THE JOINT DEFENSE DOCTRINE
  • [15] PASOK-SPD DELEGATIONS' MEETING
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [16] US SECRETARY OF STATE MEETS WITH ALBANIAN PREMIER
  • [17] MAIN OPPOSITION LEADER IN BONN, MEETS WITH KOHL
  • [18] KOSOVO'S ALBANIANS HAVE DECIDED TO ATTEND TALKS ON FEBRUARY 6
  • [19] US CALLS FOR OCALAN TO TURN HIMSELF IN AND BE TRIED IN TURKEY
  • [20] PANAFON IS INTERESTED IN THE STATE-RUN ALBANIAN MOBILE PHONE COMPANY
  • [21] CONTINUOUS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN TURKEY

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] WEATHER SLIGHTLY IMPROVES BUT MANY VILLAGES REMAIN CUT OFF

    Following a 24-hour period of constant snowfall, the weather in northern Greece has slightly improved with temperatures slowly rising. Nevertheless, hundreds of villages throughout the region remain inaccessible and isolated. The thawed snow has turned to frost thus making driving hazardous. Transportation in most of the provincial roads and the national highways can be conducted with anti-skid chains.

    Thessaloniki's "Macedonia" airport remained closed this morning, since the layer of frost on the runways made aircraft takeoffs dangerous. It re-opened later in the day.

    [02] TEACHERS FEDERATION TO CONVENE TODAY, STUDENT PROTESTS ABATE

    The administrative council of the Secondary Education Teachers Federation (OLME) is to hold another round of talks today in an attempt to forge an agreement on the 11th grade's examination process.

    At the same time, fewer and fewer schools remain under occupation by students throughout the country, a shift welcomed by the Education Ministry.

    In spite of this apparent abatement, the students are planning another round of rallies on Friday.

    [03] DELEGATION OF ALBANIAN DEPUTIES VISITS HELLENIC PARLIAMENT

    A delegation of the Albanian Parliament's foreign affairs committee was received by the President of the Hellenic Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis yesterday with whom they discussed matters of mutual interest, particularly the Kosovo crisis, and prospects of bilateral cooperation.

    The Albanian delegation comprised the chairman of the committee Sabri Godo, and parliamentarians Sevet Pellumbi and Ligoreq Karamolo.

    [04] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER RECEIVES SWEDISH COUNTERPART

    Greece's Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos received his Swedish counterpart Bjorn von Sydow in Athens yesterday, where they held talks spanning the present situation in Europe and the Balkans.

    The two officials discussed the Kosovo crisis and the Cyprus issue, as well as a bilateral defense cooperation agreement.

    Following the meeting, Mr. von Sydow stressed that the two countries were cooperating closely on a series of European issues, such as the common defense and security policy.

    [05] GREECE PROVIDES COLOMBIA WITH AID AND PRE-BUILT HOUSES

    The Greek government dispatched a shipment of humanitarian aid to earthquake-stricken Colombia, where a 6.0 Richter earthquake struck early last month killing more than 900 people and causing widespread devastation.

    The humanitarian aid includes pre-built houses. The aid, shipped in ten containers aboard the "Peggy Dawe", will take 12 days to arrive to its destination.

    [06] PREMIER RECEIVES GREEK EU COMMISSIONER CHRISTOS PAPOUTSIS

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis received the Greek EU Commissioner Christos Papoutsis in Athens yesterday, where they held a discussion spanning all issues concerning Europe and Greece's prospects during the European parliament elections in June.

    According to reports, agreement was achieved for a united course towards the PASOK party congress which would prove a determining factor for the party's victory in the Euro-elections.

    [07] SPD DELEGATION IN ATHENS, MEETS WITH STATE OFFICIALS

    A delegation of officials from the Social-democrats Party of Germany (SPD) is presently on an official visit to Greece, where they will be received by the Prime Minister Kostas Simitis today.

    In turn, the delegates will visit the Foreign Ministry and the ruling PASOK party's central offices.

    The talks will focus on the latest developments in the Kosovo crisis, the ties between Greece and Germany, June's Euro-elections and the European Socialist Party's congress.

    [08] REPPAS: OCALAN DID NOT COME TO GREECE

    Abdullah Ocalan did not come to Greece stated categorically Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas. Responding to questions made by reporters he stated that a lot has been said which has nothing to do with the truth, stressing that this issue has closed. He reiterated that the arrival of Ocalan to Greece has been regarded as neither advisable nor useful and added that the support to the struggle of the Kurdish people will continue but it will not be turned into a Greek-Turkish issue.

    Responding to a question concerning the statements of US State Department spokesman Mr. Rubin according to which, Ocalan possibly passed through Greece he said that if Mr. Rubin has proof on this he should present the evidence at his disposal.

    Mr. Reppas said that the Greek government does not know where Ocalan is and stressed that it was informed on the whole issue by the mass media.

    [09] PANGALOS-BURNS MEETING ON OCALAN

    The issue of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan was discussed today by Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos and US ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns during his visit to the foreign ministry.

    Officially, the visit by Mr. Burns is placed within the framework of the regular contacts of the two men but according to information, among the issues discussed was that of Ocalan.

    [10] MEASURES TO MAKE UP FOR THE LOST TEACHING HOURS WILL BE ANNOUNCED BY ARSENIS

    Measures aimed at covering the teaching hours lost due to the school building occupations by students protesting against the government proposed education reform are expected to be announced by minister of education Gerasimos Arsenis within the day. Specifically, classes will be held on Saturdays and holidays, school trips will be cut and the teaching hours will be increased from six to seven hours daily.

    The ministry of education speaks of a decline in the number of schools under occupation. Meanwhile, the teachers' union presiding board will meet tomorrow and the day after to adopt a common stance regarding the examinations issue.

    [11] 235 VILLAGES ARE CUT OFF BY SNOW ACROSS THE COUNTRY

    Over 235 villages remain cut off by the snow in northern and central Greece. Cars using the provincial and national road network in central and western northern Greece can move only with non-skid chains, while for a second day schools are closed in the prefectures of Thessaloniki, Xanthi, Kavala, Dramas, Komotini, Alexandroupolis, Kastoria, Kilkis and Ioannina.

    In many regions of northern Greece temperature has dropped several degrees below zero.

    [12] SIMITIS-SOLANA MEETING IN ATHENS ON THURSDAY

    Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis will meet in Athens on Thursday with NATO secretary general Javier Solana.

    The North-Atlantic alliance secretary general will have contacts with foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos and minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos. Issues that are expected to be discussed are the Greek-Turkish disputes and the latest developments in Kosovo and the Balkans.

    [13] KOSTAS KARAMANLIS WILL ATTEND THE EUROPEAN POPULAR PARTY CONFERENCE

    The 12th European Popular Party Conference under the title "Toward the 21st century" will be held in Brussels on February 4- 6.

    Right-wing opposition party leader of New Democracy Kostas Karamanlis will attend the conference and will be one of its speakers, while he will also attend the special meeting of the European Popular Party council that will be held with the participation of prime ministers and party leaders members of the European Popular Party.

    During the conference will be approved the action program for the next term of the European Parliament (1999-2004), while the new presiding board of the European Popular Party will be elected.

    [14] TSOCHATZOPOULOS ON THE S-300 AND THE JOINT DEFENSE DOCTRINE

    Minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos speaking in the foreign affairs and defense parliamentary committee meeting stated that the decision to purchase the S-300 Russian-made anti-aircraft missile system was right, disagreeing with the view expressed by foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos who had characterized it as a mistake.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos criticized the way the decision to purchase the Rusian missiles was materialized and in statements he made afterwards he underlined that the joint defense space of Greece and Cyprus is a common strategy the two countries have the obligation to back.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos responding to a question raised by right- wing main opposition party of New Democracy honorary president Konstantinos Mitsotakis stated that no limit can be set in the armed forces spending as it is determined based on the existing conditions, the dangers and the threats, while he observed that Greece unfortunately is the only EU country that suffers a specific and unprovoked threat by Turkey.

    [15] PASOK-SPD DELEGATIONS' MEETING

    Bilateral relations between the Greek governing socialist party of PASOK and the German Social-democratic Party, SPD, the Greek-German relations and the cooperation of the two political parties in view of the Euro-parliament elections were the subjects of today's meeting of the SPD delegation, headed by German deputy foreign minister Cunther Verheugen, with a PASOK delegation that was held in Athens.

    In statements he made after the meeting, the head of the German delegation recognized the achievements of the Greek economy aimed at Greece's participation in the EMU and added that Greece is capable of joining the single currency. He also said that the two sides discussed issues concerning security, social policy, social justice and unemployment.

    PASOK central committee secretary Kostas Skandalidis stressed the need to form an alternative proposal for Europe and reaffirmed the decision for a stable cooperation between the two parties in view of the Euro-parliament elections.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [16] US SECRETARY OF STATE MEETS WITH ALBANIAN PREMIER

    The international community continues its mediation efforts in finding a peaceful solution to the fermenting Kosovo crisis. There are hopes that the two conflicting sides will make some progress during their negotiations set to start on February 6 in France.

    The talks will be mediated by France's and Great Britain's Foreign Ministers and will also have the direct involvement of the Contact Group. The Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) is to announce tomorrow whether or not its representatives will attend the talks.

    United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met with Albania's Prime Mister Panteli Majko and requested his assistance in securing the presence of UCK representatives at the talks.

    [17] MAIN OPPOSITION LEADER IN BONN, MEETS WITH KOHL

    The leader of Greece's main opposition party, New Democracy's Kostas Karamanlis completed his three-day visit to Germany yesterday, where he met with the former chancellor Helmut Kohl.

    The two men discussed Greek-Turkish relations, Cyprus' accession process to the European Union, Europe's political integration and the problems currently facing the EU's common foreign policy.

    Mr. Karamanlis said that his talks with Mr. Kohl (whom he called "the architect of the new Europe") were very interesting.

    Mr. Kohl stated that he is in favor of Cyprus' accession to the European Union without any added conditions, while adding that any progress in the Cyprus division issue would be helpful.

    Moreover, the two discussed present foreign policy issues, particularly the Kosovo crisis.

    Mr. Karamanlis said that Europe should become more involved in the matter and help towards finding a peaceful solution. He noted that there should be no change in existing borders, a development which could cause long-term instability and conflict.

    [18] KOSOVO'S ALBANIANS HAVE DECIDED TO ATTEND TALKS ON FEBRUARY 6

    Political leaders of Kosovo's ethnic Albanians have decided to attend the negotiations of February 6, to be held in France, while a representative from the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) is expected to announce whether or not UCK members will attend the talks with Belgrade.

    The European Union's special envoy Wolfgang Petric made the said announcement during an interview with Belgrade's radio station "B-92", after meeting with the US mediator Christopher Hill and Kosovo's Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova.

    [19] US CALLS FOR OCALAN TO TURN HIMSELF IN AND BE TRIED IN TURKEY

    The United States has called on all countries to deny entry to the Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan and take steps to return him to Turkey for trial, according to the French news agency AFP.

    Mr. Ocalan's whereabouts remain unknown since yesterday, when Greece refused his entry in the country after his plane had tried unsuccessfully to enter the Netherlands.

    US State Department spokesperson James Rubin stated that the US believes that the PKK leader should be brought to justice for the crimes of which he is accused in a matter consistent with international standards and due process.

    He stated Washington believes that perhaps Mr. Ocalan's plane had landed in here but Greece, like other countries, did not allow him to stay.

    "I think that private plane is flying around without a home," Mr. Rubin added.

    [20] PANAFON IS INTERESTED IN THE STATE-RUN ALBANIAN MOBILE PHONE COMPANY

    The Greek mobile phone company "Panafon" expressed interest in the privatization of the state-run Albanian mobile phone company AMC.

    According to the Albanian press, the visit of "Panafon" president Mr. Koronias to Tirana was indicative of the company's interest.

    Based on data published by the Albanian newspaper "Zeri i Populit", AMC has 8.000 subscribers, 75% of whom are in Tirana and covers 42% of the Albanian market. In the immediate future it will invest 3 million dollars in order to increase its subscribers to 12.000 and to expand across Albania.

    [21] CONTINUOUS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN TURKEY

    The foreign delegations that visited Turkey to attend the trial for the murder of journalist Metin Goktepe were stunned by the extend of human rights violations in the country.

    In a statement to the press, French Journalists National Syndicate president Pierre Barabancay, German Labor Solidarity Union president Wilheen Frohn and representatives of the Turkish newspaper "Evrensel" for which Goktepe was working, stressed that the trial was not held based on the principles of law. At the same time, they pointed out that the presence of plain clothes policemen in the court house and all that happened after the trial do not prove the independence of the Turkish justice system.

    German Labor Solidarity Union president Mr. Frohn stated that the state authorities acted arbitrarily both during the Goktepe trial and the protest demonstration held by the so-called "Saturday Mothers".


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