|Sunday, 15 December 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-02-28
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
Last Update: 23:27 GMT+2
NEWS IN DETAIL
 INTERNATIONAL WINE CONTEST TO BE HELD IN THESSALONIKI
Web Posted: 17:27 GMT+2Thessaloniki, 28/02/1999 (MPA) An international wine competition is to be held on March 3-6 in Thessaloniki during Detrop '99, a food and drinks trade fair.
Eligible for entry in the contest, which is organized by the Macedonia Wine Producers Union and state trade fair organizer HELEXPO, are wines that meet the production standards of their country of origin and an international code of practice.
The organizers want to promote quality wines to consumers and distributors and publicize the wine culture of the Mediterranean basin, which, in turn, will aid the industry's growth. Judging the entries will be a committee of wine experts and
journalists from Greece and abroad.
 MAIN OPPOSITION PARTY LEADER TO TRAVEL TO US IN MARCH
Web Posted: 17:27 GMT+2Athens, 28/02/1999 (MPA) The leader of the country's main opposition party, New Democracy's Kostas Karamanlis, will conduct his first official visit to the United States during the second week of March.
While in the US, Mr. Karamanlis will be received by US Vice-President Al Gore and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
During his four-day visit, Mr. Karamanlis will also meet with various US Congressmen, while he is to deliver addresses at several academic institutions and "think tanks".
His itinerary includes visits to other US cities, including Boston, New York and Chicago.
 GREEK PM GOES TO MILAN TOMORROW ACCOMPANIED BY PANGALOS
Web Posted: 17:27 GMT+2Athens, 28/02/1999 (MPA) Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is to travel to Milan tomorrow, where he will take part in the European Socialist party's Congress.
The Greek Premier is said to be determined to set forth the Kurdish issue and the Ocalan affair by condemning Turkey's human rights violations and its abhorrent disregard for the European Union's principles and regulations.
According to reports, the Premier is to be accompanied by former foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos, their first joint appearance since the latter was asked by the former to resign last week.
Meanwhile, rumors that Mr. Pangalos is to be assigned as Greece's new EU Commissioner have yet to be confirmed.
 PRESIDENT OF GREECE TRAVELS TO UZBEKISTAN TOMORROW
Web Posted: 17:27 GMT+2Athens, 28/02/1999 (MPA) President Kostis Stephanopoulos will embark on a three-day official visit to Uzbekistan tomorrow, at the invitation of his counterpart Islam Karimof.
Greece and Uzbekistan signed a friendship and cooperation pact and a series of cooperation agreements in commerce, technology, training and tourism when Mr. Karimof visited Greece on April 1, 1997.
Newly appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Grigoris Niotis will accompany the Greek president on his visit.
 MIKIS THEODORAKIS INCENSED OVER PKK MEMBER'S INGRATITUDE
Web Posted: 17:27 GMT+2Athens, 28/02/1999 (MPA) Greece's famous composer Mikis Theodorakis made a rare television appearance yesterday evening where he expressed his chagrin over the sense of ingratitude displayed by PKK member Semsi Kilic who, a mere few hours after her successful evacuation from the Greek embassy in Nairobi, accused the Greek government of espionage and betrayal.
Obviously distraught, Mr. Theodorakis (who is a known liberal) stated that Ms. Kilic's words were an insult to all of Greece, a country that has always stood by victims, not the persecutors, as history attests.
He said that her accusations are unfathomable and announced that, as much as he feels for the Kurdish people and their plight, he and his orchestra will cancel their participation in tomorrow's concert held in support of the PKK leader.
 GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON LASHES OUT AGAINST PKK AIDE
Web Posted: 17:27 GMT+2Athens, 28/02/1999 (MPA) The Greek government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas slammed the PKK member Semsi Kilic who, he said, went on an "anti- Greek tirade" yesterday when she, after having been rescued safely from Kenya by Greece, accused government members of betrayal and espionage.
During a press briefing, following the press conference given by Ms. Kilic, Mr. Reppas responded harshly to the PKK leader's secretary whom he accused of having adopted the most severe form of Turkish propaganda.
In turn, main opposition leader Kostas Karamanlis stated that he cannot believe the accusations that Greece conspired with other countries in order to turn PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan over to Turkey. Two minor opposition parties (Communist Party of Greece and the Democratic and Social Movement) have asked for the resignation of Prime Minister Kostas Simitis.
 GREECE RESPONDS TO PKK AIDE'S CLAIMS
Web Posted: 17:27 GMT+2Athens, 28/02/1999 (MPA) The Greek government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas responded to allegations made against Greece by the PKK member Semsi Kilic, by stating emphatically that Greece is a democratic country which will never stop offering humanitarian assistance to all oppressed peoples.
"Greece, as a democratic country will not stop allowing the right to persons such as Ms. Kilic to freely express their opinions," Mr. Reppas said.
"From that point on, however, and exactly because Greece is a democratic
country, the anti-Greece raving of Ms Kilic - with the adoptation of the most obscene Turkish propaganda - can not be tolerated," he added.
Mr. Reppas also said that "many are the questions left unanswered, (and)
for this reason her role must be clarified."
Finally, he called on all foreign nationals living in Greece "to respect the country, which hosts them and offers them the conditions for a better life. Furthermore we call them to stop claim for roles, which belong only to the sovereign Greek people."
 GREEK PM: SYCOPHANTS WILL NOT SUCCEED IN BLACKENING GREECE
Web Posted: 17:27 GMT+2Athens, 28/02/1999 (MPA) Prime Minister Kostas Simitis lashed back today after a PKK member accused Greece of handing Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan over to Turkey.
"Some people are attempting to blacken the image of Greece," Mr. Simitis said.
"Greece over the years has helped at its cost those who are persecuted and suffering. Look around you at the thousands of Kurds, the hundreds of thousands of Albanians and compare Greece to the other countries of the European Union.
"In the case of Ocalan, every possible humanitarian assistance was offered and we had clarified well before, to all, that it would be a tragic and strategic mistake for Greece to accept the 'Kurdization' of Greek-Turkish relations and foreign policy," he said.
"The government remains unwaveringly committed to creating a strong
Greece in the face of the swarms of those who slander it for super- patriotic reasons, condemn our policies... those who no one knows where they come from and what purposes they serve.
"We will hold high Greece's prospects, which we want to be equal to the procedures of European unification, to have a role in the Balkans and a voice in the world.
"This is what they do not want, but they will not succeed and we will surely and steadily continue our policies," he said.
 PKK AIDE'S VENOMOUS PRESS CONFERENCE SHOCKS GREECE
Web Posted: 17:27 GMT+2Athens, 28/02/1999 (MPA) An aide of PKK leader Abdulah Ocalan, who was rescued yesterday by the Greek government after having sought refuge at the Greek embassy in Nairobi, hurled an array of allegations against the Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, former Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, former Public Order Minister Philippos Petsalnikos and the former head of the Greek secret service by accusing them of having conspired with the United States, Israel and Turkey, regarding Mr. Ocalan's apprehension.
Semsi Kilic held a press conference in Athens yesterday where, without providing evidence, leveled unprecedented accusations against the Greek Premier.
She said that "We will never forget that [Ocalan] was consciously handed over with the assistance of Greek officials."
Ms. Kilic quoted telephone calls between the Greek ambassador to Kenya George Kostoulas and government officials in Athens she had listened in on and claimed that Greece's actions were covert as soon as Mr. Ocalan landed in Greece in late January.
Two days after Mr. Ocalan was smuggled into Greece, he was flown to Minsk, Russia, supposedly en route to The Hague.
"It was Athens' intention to abandon him there to be arrested," the PKK aide alleged, but, when that plan failed, he was returned to Athens and then moved on to the island of Corfu "where he nearly died in a freak accident. A military jeep carrying Ocalan to his plane crashed into the aircraft's wing.
"It was only by great fortune that our leader escaped certain death," she said through an interpreter.
From Corfu, the plane proceeded to the Greek embassy in Kenya, although the aforementioned accident had greatly delayed the plane's departure.
Ms. Kilic said that the then foreign minister Pangalos had visited Kenya six weeks earlier. She further alleged that a group of Greek intelligence agents who were assigned to protect Mr. Ocalan had been actually briefed to "kidnap our leader and surrender him to officials of the CIA, (Israel's) Mossad and the Turkish secret agency (ΜΙΤ)".
She also said that former Greek secret service chief Haralambos Stavrakakis -who was ousted last week by the Premier along with Megrs. Pangalos, Papadopoulos and Petsalnikos, betrayed Ocalan to the CIA, for which he had worked for years.
"The honorable Mr Stavrakakis dishonored the Greek people and committed a crime against the Kurdish people," she said.
She described how Mr.ocalan left the Greek embassy in Naikrobi, after the Kenyan authorities pressured Athens to ship him out of their country.
"It is immoral to try and convey the impression that Ocalan left the ambassador's residence on his own initiative," she said.
A motorcade carried Ocalan - separated from his aides and the Greek ambassador - to the airport, where he vanished.
"Pangalos and Simitis then ordered the ambassador to abandon us there and return home," Kilic said, thanking the ambassador for taking her and the other two Kurdish women back to the embassy, where they remained until Thursday.
Ms. Kilic, who holds a Belgian passport, also said that Turkish press, which she did not identify, have reported that the US$50 million reward the Turkish
government had posted was paid to secret services, which she also did not identify.
 OCALAN IS SUBJECTED TO PSYCHOLOGICAL TORTURE, SAYS LAWYER
Web Posted: 17:27 GMT+2Ankara, 28/02/1999 (MPA) One of the three attorneys representing PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan stated that his client is being subject to psychological torture, after having visited him at the high-security island of Imrali.
Mr. Ahmet Yekikcioglou said that Mr. Ocalan is still being interrogated by military staff and the administration of psychotropic drugs is obvious. According tot he attorney, Mr. Ocalan's gaze was steady but he avoided making eye contact, fearing the masked soldiers who were present during the attorney-client meeting.
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