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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-02-08

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 8, 1999

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] GREEK FARMERS TAKE TRACTORS TO THE STREETS
  • [02] CYPRIOT DEFENSE MINISTER ARRIVES IN ATHENS TODAY
  • [03] HOSPITAL DOCTORS EMBARK ON FIVE-DAY STRIKE
  • [04] CUSTOMS SEIZES ARSENAL-CARRYING TRUCK IN FLORINA STATION
  • [05] DRIVER OF "ARSENAL ON WHEELS" APREHENDED, CLAIMS IGNORANCE
  • [06] MEASURES FOR ECONOMICALLY WEAK CLASSES SET FORTH
  • [07] GLOBALIZATION ADDRESSED AT SERIES OF EVENTS IN THESSALONIKI
  • [08] REPPAS: OCALAN DID NOT COME TO ATHENS
  • [09] TSOCHATZOPOULOS COMMENTED ON THE DEFENSE COOPERATION BETWEEN GREECE AND CYPRUS
  • [10] TRAFFIC MOVES WITHOUT PROBLEMS IN THE NATIONAL ROAD NETWORK
  • [11] THE GREEK ARMY IS REINFORCED WITH GERMAN ARMORED TANKS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [12] PRESIDENT OF HELLENIC REPUBLIC TO VISIT AUSTRIA THIS MONTH
  • [13] KING HUSSEIN TO BE BURIED TODAY
  • [14] SERBS AND ETHNIC ALBANIANS CONDEMN BLAST IN PRISHTINA
  • [15] BORIS YELTSIN TO ATTEND FUNERAL OF HUSSEIN, KING OF JORDAN
  • [16] GREEK FM: GREECE SUPPORTS ENFORCEMENT OF DAYTON AGREEMENT
  • [17] PANGALOS: MS. ALBRIGHT ASKED ME NOT TO MEET WITH POPLASEN
  • [18] PANGALOS: GREECE WILL NOT ACCEPT A CHANGE AT THE BALKAN BORDERS
  • [19] PANGALOS IS IN SARAJEVO
  • [20] GREECE IS LIKE WATER IN THE DESERT FOR THE YOUNG GREEKS LIVING IN ASIA AND AFRICA
  • [21] THE TIRANA PROSECUTOR REQUESTED INFORMATION FROM GREECE ON THE SO-CALLED "CHILDREN OF THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS"

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GREEK FARMERS TAKE TRACTORS TO THE STREETS

    The country's farmers are taking their tractors to the streets today, blocking the national highway junction at Biokarpet, Tempi, Mikrotheves and sections in the Peloponnese.

    Government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas attributed the mobilization to political ulterior motives and warned that no one will be allowed to obstruct traffic through illegal and anti- social behavior.

    Minster of Public Order Philippos Petsalnikos also stressed that he is obliged to avert any whatsoever form of occupation or street blockade. A member of the Pan-Thessaly Farmers' Coordinating Committee said that the Ministry of Agriculture is making a mockery of the farmer's plight. Mainly, farmers are demanding lower debt repayment rates.

    [02] CYPRIOT DEFENSE MINISTER ARRIVES IN ATHENS TODAY

    Cyprus's Defense Minister Yiannakis Chryssostomos will embark on a four-day visit to Athens today where he will be received by his Greek counterpart Akis Tsochatzopoulos.

    Their talks are expected to focus on the transport and installation of the Russian S-300 missiles on the island of Crete.

    [03] HOSPITAL DOCTORS EMBARK ON FIVE-DAY STRIKE

    Doctors working at state-owned hospitals throughout the country are escalating their mobilizations, demanding back pay for 24-hour emergency shifts.

    In Thessaloniki, they embarked on a five-day strike as of today, February 8, and will not perform their emergency duties.

    They have also stated that they are determined to claim their due wages through the courts.

    [04] CUSTOMS SEIZES ARSENAL-CARRYING TRUCK IN FLORINA STATION

    Customs officials at the Florina border station have seized a truck loaded with inconspicuously hidden ammunition, reportedly the largest ever amount smuggled into Greece.

    The arsenal consisted of bazookas, anti-tank rockets, howitzers and thousands of bullets.

    The truck driver managed to escape into Albanian soil while another passenger of the truck, not believed to be involved in the arms smuggling attempt, also got away.

    [05] DRIVER OF "ARSENAL ON WHEELS" APREHENDED, CLAIMS IGNORANCE

    The driver of a truck carrying the largest amount of ammunition ever attempted to be smuggled into the country was apprehended late last night after he made a dash into Albanian soil in order to avoid arrest.

    Lazai Patriot, 35, is presently being interrogated by Greek police and has stated that he received the Albanian license plate truck from a transit company. He claimed ignorance of the arsenal masterfully hidden inside the truck, which police plan to dismantle in order to search for more arms.

    The truck's passenger, a Greek national, has also been apprehended, although he claimed that he was simply hitchhiking.

    [06] MEASURES FOR ECONOMICALLY WEAK CLASSES SET FORTH

    The Minster of Finance and National Economy Yiannos Papantoniou has announced a package of measures aimed at alleviating the tax burdens from the economically weaker taxes.

    The said measures call for upping the ceiling of tax-exempt income, improvement of the tax scale and additional tax breaks for parents.

    In an interview with an Athens daily, Mr. Papantoniou commended on the upcoming PASOK party congress and expressed concern that some "fringe elements" will provoke tension.

    [07] GLOBALIZATION ADDRESSED AT SERIES OF EVENTS IN THESSALONIKI

    A series of events addressing the "social and Political Challenges of Globalization" is to begin in Thessaloniki on February 23, organized by CEDEFOP, the British Council the Goethe Institute, the Italian Institute, the Institute Francais and the Center for Business and Political Development.

    The first event's featured speaker will be professor Ricardo Petrella, who is the former director of the European Commission's FAST research program and is presently professor of economics in Belgium.

    [08] REPPAS: OCALAN DID NOT COME TO ATHENS

    Abdullah Ocalan did not come to Greece, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas.

    Responding to a question by reporters on whether the Kurdish leader has requested from the Greek government to undertake the initiative to organize an international conference, Mr. Reppas said that the Greek government follows a foreign policy of principles and has already raised the Kurdish problem adding that pressures and requests were not necessary to do that.

    [09] TSOCHATZOPOULOS COMMENTED ON THE DEFENSE COOPERATION BETWEEN GREECE AND CYPRUS

    Minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos will meet with his Cypriot counterpart in Athens today to discuss issues concerning the strengthening of the military and defense relations between the two countries.

    Just before his departure from Thessaloniki, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stressed that Greece and Cyprus have based their joint defense toward the Turkish threat on the non negotiable alliance of the joint defense doctrine, adding that they have a responsibility to materialize this strategy through specific policies and decisions.

    [10] TRAFFIC MOVES WITHOUT PROBLEMS IN THE NATIONAL ROAD NETWORK

    Cars move without problems in the national road network as despite of their threats the Greek farmers have not blocked the roads yet. A number of tractors have appeared, however, in provincial roads and villages in Thessaly, central Greece. Fifty farmers in a symbolic move blocked the entrance of the Bank of Agriculture in the town of Egion for an hour.

    Akis Tsochatzopoulos stressed that the blockades do not solve the problems of farmers adding that what is needed is a honest dialogue. The minister of agriculture has also stated that he is in favor of the dialogue. Mr. Anomeritis stated that since 1993 the farmers' debts have been settled 19 times.

    Yiannis Pattakis, member of the farmers' committee in Thessaly, maintained that the government threatens to use public prosecutors and special police forces in order to bend the farmers' resistance.

    [11] THE GREEK ARMY IS REINFORCED WITH GERMAN ARMORED TANKS

    The Greek army is reinforced with twenty five German-made "Leopard 1A5" armored tanks, while 17 more are on their way to Greece and the last ones out of a total order of 170 armored tanks are expected to arrive by the end of the year.

    The ceremony for the delivery of the 25 armored tanks was held this morning at the military camp of Assiros in the presence of minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos and the General Army Staff chief Manousos Paragioudakis. They are used armored tanks and are regarded as the most updated of the Greek army with a total value of 19 billion drachmas.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [12] PRESIDENT OF HELLENIC REPUBLIC TO VISIT AUSTRIA THIS MONTH

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos will conduct an official visit to Austria between February 15 and 17, this being the first visit by a Greek head of state to the Austrian capital.

    President Stephanopoulos will be accompanied by Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou and National Economy Deputy Minister Alekos Baltas.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos will hold talks with his Austrian counterpart Thomas Klestil, and Chancellor Viktor Klima, while he will also meet Austrian parliament president Heinz Fischer.

    [13] KING HUSSEIN TO BE BURIED TODAY

    State and political leaders throughout the world, among the United States President Bill Clinton, are to attend today's burial of Jordan's King Hussein, who died

    Israeli Premier Benjamin Netaniahu is to be accompanied by opposition party leaders. Iraq is to be represented by a high- ranking officials of the ruling council.

    [14] SERBS AND ETHNIC ALBANIANS CONDEMN BLAST IN PRISHTINA

    The delegations of Serbs and the ethnic Albanians of Kosovo, who are participating in the presently-held negotiations at Rambouillet, France, have condemned the terrorist act in Prishtina, where three Albanians were killed on Saturday evening, according to Russian news agency Itar-Tass.

    In a joint statement, the two sides expressed their indignation over the explosion in the center of Prishtina and stressed that the two sides of the conflict demand the immediate arrest and punishment of the blast culprits. This was the first joint statement of the delegations.

    [15] BORIS YELTSIN TO ATTEND FUNERAL OF HUSSEIN, KING OF JORDAN

    Russian President Boris Yeltsin has traveled to Amman, Jordan, in order to attend the funeral of King Hussein, according to the Russian news agency Itar-Tass.

    Upon his arrival, President Yeltsin stated that he came to Jordan in oprder to offer his sincere condolences to the people of Jordan.

    [16] GREEK FM: GREECE SUPPORTS ENFORCEMENT OF DAYTON AGREEMENT

    "Greece fully supports the enforcement of the Dayton Agreement and participates with a military unit," stated Foreign Minster Theodoros Pangalos during a joint interview he gave with his Bosnia counterpart Mr. Prilic, immediately following their talks.

    In addition to the Dayton Agreement, the two officials discussed the future of Bosnia-Herzegovina and its participation in the Council of Europe, supported by Greece, and the country's European orientation.

    Mr. Pangalos also stated that he and Mr. Prilic agreed to facilitate further contact among the political directors of both foreign ministries, as well as the development of economic ties between the two countries.

    "Greece is FYROM's second trade ally in the Balkans and is Albania's first," Mr. Pangalos stated, adding that Greek ventures rank first in investment in Albania, FYROM, Romania and Serbia, while they rank second in Bulgaria.

    He stressed that similar opportunities exist in Bosnia as well.

    [17] PANGALOS: MS. ALBRIGHT ASKED ME NOT TO MEET WITH POPLASEN

    The flight of Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos to Banja Luka is expected to be canceled due to the continued bad weather in the region.

    Mr. Pangalos, speaking to reporters at the Sarajevo Airport, revealed that the US Secretary of State Ms. Albright had sent him a letter on the Balkan issues asking him not to meet with Serb Republic president Nikola Poplasen in Banja Luka.

    [18] PANGALOS: GREECE WILL NOT ACCEPT A CHANGE AT THE BALKAN BORDERS

    Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos stated immediately after his meeting with his Bosnian counterpart Mr. Prilic and the Bosnian deputy foreign ministers that Greece will not accept any change at the Balkan borders under no circumstances.

    It should also be stressed that the two government ministers agreed on the position that the issue of Kossovo must end through political means with an agreement backed by the parties involved.

    [19] PANGALOS IS IN SARAJEVO

    Foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos is in Sarajevo where he met with his Bosnian counterpart Mr. Prilic. Mr. Pangalos stated that Greece backs fully the implementation of the Dayton peace accord and participates with a military unit.

    They also discussed the international prospects for Bosnia- Herzegovina, its participation in the Council of Europe and the country's European prospect. Mr. Pangalos stressed that it was agreed that a meeting should be held for the development of the economic relations between the two countries.

    [20] GREECE IS LIKE WATER IN THE DESERT FOR THE YOUNG GREEKS LIVING IN ASIA AND AFRICA

    Greece is like a glass of water in the middle of the desert and it is kept like a priceless treasure in the hearts of the young Greeks living abroad who are meeting in Alexandria, Egypt within the framework of the three-day founding conference which was attended by delegates from 15 countries.

    The nine-member coordinating committee of the Young Greeks World Council of Hellenes Abroad, SAE of Asia-Africa presented their immediate goals in a press conference after the end of the conference.

    The members of the coordinating committee stated that in the period that will follow they will brief the young Greeks in the countries from where they come from and they will coordinate their efforts in order to give strong roots to the initiative that started in Alexandria.

    [21] THE TIRANA PROSECUTOR REQUESTED INFORMATION FROM GREECE ON THE SO-CALLED "CHILDREN OF THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS"

    Albania's general prosecutor Arben Pakipi made an official request to the responsible Greek agencies requesting information on the under aged Albanian children who are forced by Albanian Mafia members to beg for money under the traffic lights of the Greek cities or to perform different illegal acts.

    The Greek side has responded positively to the request, according to the Albanian newspaper "Zei i Populit" and based on information at the newspaper's disposal, over 2.000 children have left the country in the past few years of which 800 are begging for money on the streets of the big Italian cities.


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