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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-11-01

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, November 1, 1999

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] GREEK SECURITY FORCES PREPARE FOR US PRESIDENT'S VISIT
  • [02] PRESIDENT OF MOLDAVIA CONDUCTS OFFICIAL VISIT TO ATHENS
  • [03] BALKAN RECONSTRUCTION MEETING IN THESSALONIKI TOMORROW
  • [04] BUDGET TO BE TABLED IN PARLIAMENT ON WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 3
  • [05] ASE GENERAL PRICE INDEX MARKS INCREASE OF 2.41% TODAY
  • [06] STATE OPTIMISTIC OVER COUNTRY'S EMU ACCESSION COURSE
  • [07] PAPANTONIOU: GREECE WILL MEET THE EMU CRITERIA
  • [08] SIMITIS AND BURNS WILL MEET TOMORROW IN VIEW OF THE CLINTON VISIT
  • [09] THE MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT MET WITH THE PRESIDENT AND THE PRIME MINISTER OF GREECE
  • [10] BIG RISE IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [11] PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS WILL BE IN BULGARIA ON THURSDAY
  • [12] REPPAS: THERE IS NO ISSUE OF EARLY ELECTIONS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [13] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER CONDUCTS OFFICIAL VISIT TO CANADA
  • [14] DEFENSE UNDERSECRETARY VISITS ROMANIA, PLEDGES SUPPORT
  • [15] US PRESIDENT CLINTON TO CONDUCT VISIT TO GREECE THIS MONTH
  • [16] GREECE TO TAKE PART IN BULGARIAN TELECOMS FORUM
  • [17] TURKISH-CYPRIOT LEADER INSISTS ON INTRANSIGENT POSITIONS
  • [18] FYROM PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS: PETKOVSKI AHEAD IN FIRST ROUND
  • [19] FYROM: DEVELOPING TIES WITH GREECE A PRIORITY, PETKOVSKI SAYS
  • [20] FYROM: DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE CHALLENGES EARLY RESULTS
  • [21] MOST GERMANS ARE AGAINST THE SUPPLY OF TURKEY WITH "LEOPARD 2" ARMOURED TANKS
  • [22] GIORGOS PAPANDREOU: GREECE WILL JOIN THE EMU IN 2001
  • [23] A BRITISH SECURITY FIRM PROPOSED COOPERATION TO TURKEY ON CYPRUS AND THE KURDS, ACCORDING TO LONDON SUNDAY TIMES - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GREEK SECURITY FORCES PREPARE FOR US PRESIDENT'S VISIT

    Greek and American security forces are preparing the grounds for the imminent visit of US President Bill Clinton, who will be in Athens between November 13 - 15.

    While the measures will certainly be draconian, the government is concerned over the planned protests to be held by various political and social organizations.

    The annual march commemorating the Polytechnic student uprising will be held on November 17, its traditional date, and will not be rescheduled in order to coincide with Mr. Clinton's visit.

    However, a protest march to the American embassy will be held in Athens during the duration of the US president's stay, while a rally towards the US consulate will be held in Thessaloniki on November 13.

    [02] PRESIDENT OF MOLDAVIA CONDUCTS OFFICIAL VISIT TO ATHENS

    Moldavian President Petru Lucinski will conduct a formal visit to Greece today, accompanied by a delegation of businessmen.

    The Moldavian president is scheduled to visit the Trade and Industry Chambers in Athens and Thessaloniki.

    [03] BALKAN RECONSTRUCTION MEETING IN THESSALONIKI TOMORROW

    Thessaloniki will host a conference on Balkan reconstruction on November 2 and 3, which will be inaugurated by the special coordinator of the Stability Pact for SE Europe, Bondo Hombach and attended by prominent officials of several governments and organizations, among them the president of Montenegro Milo Djuganovic and the President of Albania's Socialist Party Fatos Nano.

    The conference will include discussion of inter-Balkan cooperation in business and banking, and of the financing of the planned reconstruction projects.

    National economy minister Yiannos Papantoniou will present Greece's Balkan reconstruction plan, to be followed by an exchange of views with his Balkan counterparts. Also, the Minister of Development Evangelos Venizelos will attend the event, along with the Ministers of Transport and Macedonia - Thrace, Tasos Mantelis and Yiannis Magriotis respectively, and the undersecretary of National Economy Rodoula Zisi.

    The event is jointly organized by the Industries Association of Northern Greece (SVVE), the International Trade Fair of Thessaloniki and the Euromoney publications.

    [04] BUDGET TO BE TABLED IN PARLIAMENT ON WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 3

    The next year's budget, which will be pivotal for the country's coveted accession to the Economic and Monetary Union, is expected to be tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, November 3.

    The state is concerned over the expected inflationary pressures, while government officials are pointing out that the price index criterion has yet to be achieved. Inflation closed at 2.1 per cent in October.

    [05] ASE GENERAL PRICE INDEX MARKS INCREASE OF 2.41% TODAY

    The General Price Index at the Athens Stock Exchange marked an increase of 2.41 percent this afternoon, reaching 5,573.35 points.

    At the same time, the volume of trading reached 189 billion drachmas.

    [06] STATE OPTIMISTIC OVER COUNTRY'S EMU ACCESSION COURSE

    The government's economic staff are optimistic that there will not be any hitches to Greece's accession course to the Economic and Monetary Union, in spite of the facts that the price index is escaping the coveted target and October's inflation rate, to be announced this week, not only won't be curbed at below the two percent mark, but is expected to rise beyond 2.1%.

    The economy and finance ministries are stressing that the government does not intend to draw additional or emergency measures for containing the price index.

    However, an economy official from the main opposition party of New Democracy, George Alogoskoufis, stated that the state will take emergency measures, only to see the same problems reemerge six months down the line.

    Mr. Alogoskoufis opined that while Greece's accession to the EMU is a given, the real hurdles for Greece's economy will surface afterwards as the country will be unable to address the competition.

    [07] PAPANTONIOU: GREECE WILL MEET THE EMU CRITERIA

    Greece will meet the EMU criteria and its application will be submitted in March, stated national economy and finance minister Yiannos Papantoniou after the meeting he had with prime minister Kostas Simitis. Mr. Papantoniou added that no new taxes will be imposed neither new fiscal measures will be adopted in order to tackle any increase of inflation, except from isolated measures that will be imposed in order to bring down the vegetable and fruit prices.

    Meanwhile, minister of development Evangelos Venizelos appeared optimistic on the course of the inflation and did not rule out a de-escalation in the month of October in spite of the speculations to the contrary. Mr. Venizelos stressed that the government has prepared a package of measures in case of inflation increase tendencies and spoke of a fruit and vegetable price ceiling in order to limit inflation.

    [08] SIMITIS AND BURNS WILL MEET TOMORROW IN VIEW OF THE CLINTON VISIT

    Prime minister Kostas Simitis will meet with US ambassador to Athens Nicolas Burns tomorrow.

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated that the meeting will be held at the request of Mr. Burns and it is linked with the Clinton visit to Athens. He also stated that the schedule of the visit of the US president has not been finalized yet.

    [09] THE MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT MET WITH THE PRESIDENT AND THE PRIME MINISTER OF GREECE

    Moldovan president Petro Lucinski, who is on a visit to Greece, met with president Kostis Stephanopoulos at the presidential building in Athens.

    Both underlined the very good relations existing between the two countries and pledged that they will be further improved. They also signed a protocol of cooperation between the foreign ministries of the two countries as well as, cooperation agreements in the agriculture and veterinary sectors. Mr. Stephanopoulos reiterated that Greece is in favor of Moldova's European orientation.

    Mr. Lucinski later met with prime minister Kostas Simitis, who gave a formal reception in his honor.

    [10] BIG RISE IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    A big rise was recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index increased by 3.46% and closed at 5.630,27, while the share prices had a dynamic recovery as the nervousness evident in previous sessions today was absent.

    The general index had no big fluctuations and transactions started with significant general index gains, while by mid session there was a slight drop recorded which was overcome in the last half hour of the transactions. A price increase was recorded in two hundred and fifty six shares, the value of 41 shares dropped and 24 remained stable.

    [11] PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS WILL BE IN BULGARIA ON THURSDAY

    Prime minister Kostas Simitis will be in Bulgaria on Thursday to attend the two-day tripartite meeting of Greece, Bulgaria and Romania that will be held in the resort of Borovec. Another such meeting had been held in Delphi, central Greece last fall at the initiative of the Greek prime minister.

    Prime minister Simitis and the presidents of Bulgaria and Romania, Petar Stoyanov and Emil Constantinescu will examine the implementation of the stability pact in south-eastern Europe and the effects the crisis in Kosovo had on the Balkan states.

    [12] REPPAS: THERE IS NO ISSUE OF EARLY ELECTIONS

    There is no issue of early elections and no changes will be made in the electoral law, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas. He reiterated that the government wants elections to be held in September of the year 2000 when its full term will expire.

    He also pointed out that the prime minister has not scheduled any meetings with political party leaders on the issue of the election of the new president.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [13] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER CONDUCTS OFFICIAL VISIT TO CANADA

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou is presently on a four-day, official visit to Canada, where he will tour Montreal and Ottawa having already visited Toronto.

    Tomorrow, Mr. Papandreou will meet with Canadian Premier Jean Chretien, as well as with members of the parliamentary committee for foreign affairs and international trade and the Committee for Greek-Canadian friendship.

    On Wednesday, Mr. Papandreou will meet with his Canadian counterpart Mr. Lloyd Axworthy with whom he will examine the opportunities for further collaboration on bilateral and international matters.

    In a relevant announcement issued by his office, Mr. Axworthy stated that "with the over 250,000 Canadians of Greek descent living in Canada, the ties binding the two countries grow stronger with the passage of time and from generation to generation."

    Mr. Papandreou will leave for Boston on November 4 to address an event organized by Harvard.

    He will leave for Paris from Boston to meet his French counterpart Hubert Vedrine and French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin.

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis will also be in Paris as of November 8 to attend the Socialist International's meeting.

    Mr. Papandreou will leave for The Hague on November 9 to meet with his Dutch counterpart Van Archen. He will then return to Athens to be present during the visit by US President Bill Clinton.

    On Nov. 15, Mr. Papandreou will participate in the European Union's Council of General Affairs and then leave for Moscow to meet his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov, as well as Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

    On November 18-19, Mr. Papandreou will accompany Prime Minister Costas Simitis at the OSCE's summit in Istanbul.

    [14] DEFENSE UNDERSECRETARY VISITS ROMANIA, PLEDGES SUPPORT

    Defense Undersecretary Dimitris Apostolakis stressed Greece's willingness to support Romania's efforts to enter the European Union and NATO, during his official visit to Bucharest.

    In his meetings with Romanian government officials, Mr. Apostolakis discussed matters pertaining to the framework of initiatives for the establishment of peace and stability in the region and for the training of Romanian soldiers at the Peace Mission Center that operates near Kilkis, Greece.

    The Undersecretary also met with the Patriarch of Romania Theoktistos and the administration of the Greeks of Romania Association, while he also visited the international arms exposition "EXRPOMIL -99".

    Mr. Apostolakis will return to Romania on December 3 - 4 in order to observe the final phase of the "COOPERATIVE DETERMINATION-99" military exercise.

    [15] US PRESIDENT CLINTON TO CONDUCT VISIT TO GREECE THIS MONTH

    Draconian security measures are being drawn in Greece, in light of the upcoming visit of the United States President Bill Clinton.

    Mr. Clinton will officially visit Greece on November 13-15, accompanied by his wife Hillary and daughter Chelsea.

    The US President will visit Turkey on November 15-17 ahead of a planned Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit, scheduled for November 17-19 in Istanbul.

    Mr. Clinton will also visit Italy on November 20-21, followed by Bulgaria on the 21st and 23rd of the same month.

    [16] GREECE TO TAKE PART IN BULGARIAN TELECOMS FORUM

    More than 20 Greek telecommunications companies will participate in a Greek-Bulgarian telecommunications forum to be held in Sadanski, Bulgaria, on November 3-5.

    ``The forum is organized by the American Commerce, Industry and Science Council for Greece and the Balkans, based in Thessaloniki and aims to promote regional cooperation and joint ventures by Greek and Bulgarian companies.

    The forum's main attraction is an evolving alliance between Hellenic Telecommunications Organization with Bulgaria's state telecoms company.

    Telecommunications companies from the two countries will have the opportunity to discuss further cooperation.

    [17] TURKISH-CYPRIOT LEADER INSISTS ON INTRANSIGENT POSITIONS

    The leader of the Turkish - Cypriots Rauf Denktash has reiterated his intransigent positions in regards to the Cyprus issue, by demanding that the island's occupied part be recognized as an equal state.

    In an interview with a Turkish television station, which was re-broadcast by BBC, Mr. Denktash refuted as unfounded the comparisons between Cyprus's green line and the Berlin wall.

    "The Berlin wall separated brothers and it was rightfully brought down, whereas the borders in Cyprus were drawn in defense against the Greek-Cypriots who wanted to destroy us," he stated.

    In regards to talks with the President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafcos Clerides, Mr. Denktash stated that direct talks could be held if they are preceded by vis-a-vis negotiations.

    [18] FYROM PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS: PETKOVSKI AHEAD IN FIRST ROUND

    Presidential elections were held in FYROM yesterday, marking an end to the era of Kiro Gligorov, who has led the country since January 1991.

    Tito Petkovski, 45, of the opposition party Social-Democratic Alliance (SDSM), is reported to be ahead in the first unofficial results, amassing approximately 35 per cent of the votes, followed by Boris Trajkovski, the candidate of the governing VMRO-DPMNE party, who has 22 per cent of the votes.

    As none of the six candidates are expected to win a majority of votes, a November 14 run- off seems inevitable.

    [19] FYROM: DEVELOPING TIES WITH GREECE A PRIORITY, PETKOVSKI SAYS

    A candidate for FYROM's presidential post, Tito Petkovski of the opposition party Social- Democratic Alliance (SDSM), has pledged that if he is elected he will aim for the further development of ties with Greece, as well as for the resolution of the name issue pending between the two countries.

    In an interview with BBC's Greek service, Mr. Petkovski stated that "Greece has to be established as FYROM's great and honest ally", adding that this would pave the way for his country's accession to the European Union.

    Referring to the name issue, Mr. Petkovski said that FYROM does not constitute a threat for Greece's stability. "The two countries have the power to promote their relations without a mediator in order to reach a solution. Mediation is not a good thing. It is to our benefit to resolve the name issue as soon as possible," he stated.

    Mr. Petkovski, who is reported to be ahead in the first unofficial results of yesterday's elections, stated that he does not fear the political influence that could be exerted by Greece through the course of investments since, he supported, these investments will contribute to his country's economic progress, will create new jobs and will improve the living standard.

    Nevertheless, he did point out that "the purchase of sectors, such as the OKTA refineries, is risky since they lead to a reduction in the labor force and lay-offs for the sake of increasing Greece's oil trade."

    According to Mr. Petkovski, such agreement has also political dimensions and could bear an impact on the country's stability and the development of bilateral ties.

    [20] FYROM: DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE CHALLENGES EARLY RESULTS

    FYROM's Democratic Alliance Party is challenging the first unofficial results that emerged from yesterday's presidential elections, by claiming that, according to its data, its candidate Vasil Tupurkovski is ahead of Boris Trajkovski, the candidate of the governing VMRO- DPMNE party, and thus could secure his ticket for the run offs.

    According to the Democratic Alliance, Tito Petkovski of the Social-Democratic Alliance is ahead with 20.91%, followed by Mr. Tupurkovski with 17.5% and with VMRO-DPMNE being third with 17.37%.

    [21] MOST GERMANS ARE AGAINST THE SUPPLY OF TURKEY WITH "LEOPARD 2" ARMOURED TANKS

    The overwhelming majority of the Germans are categorically against the supply of Turkey even with one "Leopard 2" armored tank on a trial basis.

    This is evident based on the results of an opinion poll that was conducted on behalf of the newspaper "Bilt" immediately after the dispute on the issue between German chancellor Gerhard Schreder and foreign minister Joshka Fischer that was recorded in the federal council meeting.

    According to the opinion poll, 62% of the Germans responded that they do not find right the German government decision to send an armored tank to Turkey on a trial basis, 33% responded positively, while 5% did not express an opinion.

    It should be noted that in the opinion poll participated 1.100 Germans and 90% of those who come from the former East Germany were against the government decision.

    The federal council decision caused the biggest crisis so far in the German government coalition and showed that the differences separating the two parties namely, the SPD and the Greens are still hard to bridge.

    [22] GIORGOS PAPANDREOU: GREECE WILL JOIN THE EMU IN 2001

    Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou in an interview with a German newspaper expressed the certainty that Greece will join the EMU in 2001.

    Mr. Papandreou stated characteristically that if no unexpected events take place the green light will be given to Greece to use the EURO in June of 2000, while the country will join the EMU in early 2001.

    Minister of national economy and finance Yiannos Papantoniou had stated in the summer that Greece's public deficit is at 1.9% of the GDP, the public debt has dropped and inflation is at low levels, stressing that those facts bring Greece closer to meeting the Maastricht treaty criteria.

    [23] A BRITISH SECURITY FIRM PROPOSED COOPERATION TO TURKEY ON CYPRUS AND THE KURDS, ACCORDING TO LONDON SUNDAY TIMES

    Based on a London Sunday Times report, a British security company had proposed to assist the Turkish government in its effort to locate secret bases of the Kurdish PKK rebels in northern Iraq. The British security firm also has offered assistance to the Turkish government in case it had to launch military strikes against Greece in the event of a Greek-Turkish armed conflict.

    According to the newspaper report, an extensive part of which was broadcast by the BBC radio, the firm "Aims Limited" which is based in Britain and has close ties with the British secret services had proposed to bombard the Kurdish rebels, who had been held by the Turkish army in northern Iraq, with radiation. The firm had assured the Turkish armed forces staff that it would be much easier to trace the Kurdish rebels back to their bases if they were bombarded with large quantities of radiation before their release from custody. The proposal was made by "Aims Limited" owner Brian Smith who had served as a mercenary in Africa.

    Regarding Greece, the "Aims Limited" plan provided for the destruction of missile launchers and small submarines in military bases of the Greek Cypriot side in case of a war between Greece and Turkey.

    According to the London Sunday Times report, the cooperation of the British company with the Turkish authorities is not limited to the issue of the Kurds. In August of last year, the company proposed to undertake the training of tens of Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, rebels and had sent British mercenaries to Albania for this purpose. Based on the London Sunday times, the agreement had been achieved with the mediation of a Turkish army officer who was serving in the Turkish embassy in Tirana and was the liaison between Turkey and the KLA.

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