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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-11-09

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 9, 1999

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] ATHENS CHAGRINED OVER UNITED STATES PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT
  • [02] PRESIDENT OF GREECE TRAVELS TO SLOVENIA TOMORROW
  • [03] GREECE'S AIR CARRIER RANKS THIRD WORLD-WIDE IN SAFETY
  • [04] IMF CONFIDENT, GREECE WILL ENTER ECONOMIC MONTERARY UNION
  • [05] ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE TO CHANGE ITS OPERATIONS
  • [06] DEFENSE MINISTER: CLINTON'S VISIT IS A VITAL POLITICAL MOMENT
  • [07] THESSALONIKI-SKOPJE OIL PIPELINE CONSTRUCTION BEGINS TODAY
  • [08] PUBLIC FORUM TO BE HELD THIS WEEK ON GREEK IMMIGRANTS
  • [09] PANMACEDONIAN C/TEE'S NATIONAL AFFAIRS LEADER SPEAKS TO MPA
  • [10] REPPAS ON THE CLINTON VISIT AND THE US CONCERNS
  • [11] REPPAS: THE US STATE DEPARTMENT ISSUED A PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT AND NOT A TRAVEL WARNING
  • [12] KAKLAMANIS: TURKEY CULTIVATES TENSION IN THE GREEK-TURKISH RELATIONS
  • [13] THE SCHEDULED MEETING OF THE COALITION OF THE LEFT LEADER WITH THE US AMBASSADOR HAS BEEN CANCELED
  • [14] BAD WEATHER CONTINUES IN GREECE
  • [15] REPPAS ON THE FALSE DOCUMENTS ALLEGEDLY IN THE POSSESSION OF RUSSIAN OFFICIALS
  • [16] GREECE'S APPLICATION TO THE EMU WILL BE SUBMITTED IN MARCH
  • [17] KARAMANLIS IS ON A VISIT TO CHANIA, CRETE
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [18] US ISSUE PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT FOR TRAVEL TO GREECE
  • [19] CLINTON OUTLINES HIS THREE PRIORITIES IN EUROPE
  • [20] US PRESIDENT: GREECE IS A MODEL OF DEMOCRACY
  • [21] PM TO MEET WITH FRENCH COUNTERPART IN PARIS TODAY
  • [22] PM URGES: DIFFERENTIATE SOCIALISM FROM NEO- LIBERALISM
  • [23] BALKAN ENVIRONMENTALISTS TO DISCUSS INDUSTRIAL POLLUTION
  • [24] SIMITIS-CHIRAC MEETING IN PARIS - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] ATHENS CHAGRINED OVER UNITED STATES PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT

    A public announcement issued by the US State Department, which advises US residents and travelers to exercise appropriate caution and avoid areas of planned demonstrations in Greece, has provoked the chagrin of the Greek government, as it adds salt to the wounds opened by the recent "Washington Post" article on terrorist activities in the country.

    In all, the State Department is exerting pressures on Greece to avert the protest marches towards the US Embassy during US President Bill Clinton's visit to Athens, while the Greek government is determined to let them proceed as planned, provided that they are held in a peaceful manner.

    Government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas has stressed that no one can limit the Greek citizens' fundamental right to assembly peacefully and their freedom of expression.

    [02] PRESIDENT OF GREECE TRAVELS TO SLOVENIA TOMORROW

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos will embark on a three- day, official visit to Slovenia tomorrow, at the invitation of Slovenian President Milan Kucan.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos will be accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Grigoris Niotis.

    President Stephanopoulos was in Munich yesterday where he officially inaugurated the exhibition 'Modern Greece - Greeks and Bavarians in the era of Ludwig I' at the National Bavarian Museum.

    [03] GREECE'S AIR CARRIER RANKS THIRD WORLD-WIDE IN SAFETY

    Greece's air carrier Olympic Airways is rated third among the safest airlines world-wide according to the results of an international conference on flight safety held in Athens recently, which also found that flight control and services at Greek airports are impeccable.

    The high ratings for state-owned O.A. and the Greek airports were also confirmed after an inspection recently conducted by US Federal Aviation Authority officials.

    [04] IMF CONFIDENT, GREECE WILL ENTER ECONOMIC MONTERARY UNION

    In a recently published report, the International Monetary Fund is confident that Greece will accede to the Economic and Monetary Union, by pointing out that the country is presently undergoing a favorable economic cycle and its achievements are noteworthy.

    Moreover, the IMF report states that Greece has combined high rates of development with improved fiscal sizes and a significant drop in inflation. Nevertheless, it adds, the main challenge ahead concerns the securing of contained inflationary pressures and the creation of new jobs.

    [05] ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE TO CHANGE ITS OPERATIONS

    Two significant measures regarding the operation of the Athens Stock Exchange are to be introduced by the Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou today.

    The first concerns the extension of trading by two hours, while the second concerns the expansion of the fluctuation rate from -+ eight percent to -+ 12 percent.

    These measures are expected to be enforced at the start of next year.

    [06] DEFENSE MINISTER: CLINTON'S VISIT IS A VITAL POLITICAL MOMENT

    Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos has stated that US president Bill Clinton's visit to Athens represents an important political moment for Greece.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that what is important to emerge from the visit is that which strategically promotes Greece's interest.

    Moreover, the Defense Minister noted that Greece's strategic interests called for a "substantive, mature and wholesome dialogue" with Washington.

    [07] THESSALONIKI-SKOPJE OIL PIPELINE CONSTRUCTION BEGINS TODAY

    Construction of the Thessaloniki-Skopje oil pipeline got underway today, a project which will connect Skopje's OKTA oil refinery with Greece's Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE).

    ELPE, which is OKTA's strategic partner in FYROM's largest ever investment, is constructing the 90-million-dollar pipeline, which will have an annual capacity of 2.5 million tons and a length of 230 kilometers.

    [08] PUBLIC FORUM TO BE HELD THIS WEEK ON GREEK IMMIGRANTS

    A public forum titled "Greek immigrants of various generations as a component of the hosting societies" will be held in Athens this Saturday, November 13, organized by Greek Radio and featuring the participation of various government officials.

    The participants will tackle a series of issues related to the social aspect of immigration, such as assimilation, motherland ties, discrimination and acceptance.

    Among those present will be the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs ( who is also responsible for matters concerning Greeks living abroad) Grigoris Niotis, the Secretary-General of Greeks Abroad Dimitris Dolis, as well as the members of the relevant parliamentary committee.

    [09] PANMACEDONIAN C/TEE'S NATIONAL AFFAIRS LEADER SPEAKS TO MPA

    United States President Bill Clinton's forthcoming visit to Greece is to primarily promote trade issues in the Balkans and, secondarily, to address the overall political situation in the region, according to the President of the National Affairs of the US- Canada Pan-Macedonian Union Antonis Ikonomou.

    Speaking to the Macedonian Press Agency, Mr. Ikonomou opined that the United States are interested in Kosovo's independence and the overthrow of the Milosevic regime.

    " I assume that the basis of these intents is Mr. Milosevic's refusal to cede certain trade and other benefits to the Us and the EU," Mr. Ikonomou said.

    Commenting on the protest rallies held in light of Mr. Clinton's visit, Mr., Ikonomou stated that any act worsening Greece's image abroad "will hinder our efforts to promote Greece's just causes. Everyone should know that the United States, as the present superpower, promotes its own interests first."

    [10] REPPAS ON THE CLINTON VISIT AND THE US CONCERNS

    The schedule of US president Bill Clinton's visit to Athens has not been drawn up yet, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas and responding to the question if there is a likelihood for the visit to be canceled or altered he stressed that the Greek government cooperates with the US government for the visit to take place smoothly as agreed.

    Responding to the question on whether US ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns has requested that the protest marches to the US embassy be banned, Mr. Reppas said that Mr. Burns would like the US president's visit to pass off well, adding that there is concern over the protests that could create problems and hurt the US-Greek relations.

    [11] REPPAS: THE US STATE DEPARTMENT ISSUED A PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT AND NOT A TRAVEL WARNING

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas commented on the warning issued by the US state department directed to the US nationals in Greece or to those Americans who are visiting Greece this period of time.

    Mr. Reppas stated that the US government has issued a public announcement and not a travel warning which refers to the protests commemorating the anniversary of the student uprising in the Athens School of Polytechnic. He said that it was issued as an obligation to the US citizens for their safe movement, adding that it would have been an omission if this announcement was not made.

    [12] KAKLAMANIS: TURKEY CULTIVATES TENSION IN THE GREEK-TURKISH RELATIONS

    Greek parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis met today with the delegations of the Dutch parliament Lasting Justice Committee and the European Affairs Committee.

    Mr. Kaklamanis pointed out that Greece wants the consolidation of security, peace and stability and referring to the Greek-Turkish relations, he accused Turkey of cultivating the tension by presenting unfounded claims on Greece's territorial integrity. He also observed that a climate of solidarity has been created between the Greek and the Turkish people and this proves that there is no hatred between them.

    [13] THE SCHEDULED MEETING OF THE COALITION OF THE LEFT LEADER WITH THE US AMBASSADOR HAS BEEN CANCELED

    The meeting of Coalition of the Left president Nikos Konstantopoulos with US ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns which was scheduled for today has been canceled.

    The meeting had been requested by the US ambassador who sought to have contacts with all the political party leaders in Greece to discuss with them the climate that has been created in the country in view of US president Bill Clinton's visit.

    Coalition of the Left is in favor of the protest march to the US embassy building organized by the youth organizations of the Greek political parties to take place on Saturday.

    [14] BAD WEATHER CONTINUES IN GREECE

    Bad weather sweeps a big part of Greece, characterized by strong winds and heavy rains that have caused extensive floods.

    An 80yearold woman was found dead after she was swept along by the current on the community of Chrisafa in Lakonia in the Peloponese of southern Greece. In Piraeus, a sailor was killed by a ferry-boat cable that broke because of the strong winds. Yesterday, an 85yearold woman was found drowned in her flooded home, while a 45yearold economic refugee from Poland suffered a heart attack and died on a bridge when he saw the waters rising dangerously.

    Extensive floods are being reported in most of the Peloponese in southern Greece, while the situation is equally bad in regions near Athens, as well as in the city of Volos and in the region of the prefecture of Pieria in northern Greece.

    [15] REPPAS ON THE FALSE DOCUMENTS ALLEGEDLY IN THE POSSESSION OF RUSSIAN OFFICIALS

    They are false and no Greek agency has issued such documents, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, responding to a question made by reporters on a relevant article published today by the Athens newspaper "Ethnos" according to which, Russian politicians appear to have in their possession Greek travel documents.

    Minister of interior Vaso Papandreou gave an order for an immediate inquiry to be completed as soon as possible.

    [16] GREECE'S APPLICATION TO THE EMU WILL BE SUBMITTED IN MARCH

    Minister of national economy and finance Yiannos Papantoniou announced the new rules of operation for the Athens Stock Exchange.

    Mr. Papantoniou announced the widening of the shares fluctuation limit from +-8% to +-12% and the expansion of trading time by 2 hours. Those measures will be in effect in January 2000. The minister also referred to the briefing he made during the ECOFIN conference. Mr. Papantoniou stated that Greece's application for EMU membership will be submitted on March 5-12, 2000, while the evaluation reports by the European Commission and the European Central Bank will be made in May.

    If everything goes well, the decision on Greece's participation in the EMU will be made in the Lisbon Summit on June 19.

    [17] KARAMANLIS IS ON A VISIT TO CHANIA, CRETE

    Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis speaking in the Chania Chamber expressed the determination of his party to continue its fight for clarity in public life. Mr. Karamanlis also referred to the pensioners and called for the benefit of social solidarity to be extended to the farmers who are on pension.

    Earlier in the morning, the leader of the main opposition party had meetings with local administration and production sector representatives.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [18] US ISSUE PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT FOR TRAVEL TO GREECE

    American residents and travelers should exercise appropriate caution and avoid areas of planned demonstrations in Greece, according to a public announcement issued by the US State Department yesterday and which will be enforced until December 1, 1999.

    "Mid-November is typically a time of demonstrations in Greece, commemorating the 1973 student uprising against the military dictatorship," the announcement reads, adding that "demonstrations are planned against President Clinton's upcoming visit to Greece. We have no information regarding specific threats to American citizens in Greece. However, there have been several late-night terrorist bombings and other attacks that have resulted in property damage to American-affiliated businesses, and to interests perceived to be American, in recent weeks."

    According to the State Department, Public Announcements are a means to disseminate information about terrorist threats and other relatively short-term and/or trans-national conditions posing significant risks to the security of American travelers.

    They are made any time there is a perceived threat and usually have Americans as a particular target group. In the past, Public Announcements have been issued to deal with short-term coups, bomb threats to airlines, violence by terrorists and anniversary dates of specific terrorist events.

    A Public Announcement differs from a Travel Warning, which is more severe and is issued when the State Department decides, based on all relevant information, to recommend that Americans avoid travel to a certain country.

    In a press briefing session yesterday, State Department spokesperson James Rubin condemned the recent, albeit minor, attacks in Athens.

    "Let me start by saying we deplore and condemn these acts of violence," he stated, adding "we are obviously working very, very closely with the Greek authorities, as we do in all visits of this kind by the President. I can't get into the details of any decisions with respect to security that the President and the Greek Government may make, but I can say that we are continuing to work with the Greek Government. Obviously security is a major issue and if we have any adjustments or changes that are in the expected Presidential schedule, I expect the White House will make those known when appropriate."

    [19] CLINTON OUTLINES HIS THREE PRIORITIES IN EUROPE

    Achieving true reconciliation between Greece and Turkey, transforming Russia and bringing stability to the Balkans are the three pressing priorities held by the United States in Europe, according to US President Bill Clinton.

    In an address given at Georgetown University yesterday, Mr. Clinton stated that a true reconciliation between Greece and Turkey is one of the greatest challenges facing the world's leading democracies.

    "This is a problem that can be solved," he said, adding that the US and its allies have three pressing priorities, i.e. helping Russia maintain its democracy, and preventing the rise of dictators in the Balkans to reduce the threat of future wars.

    "A third challenge is perhaps the oldest of them all, and in some ways, perhaps the hardest ... to achieve a true reconciliation between Greece and Turkey," he stated.

    "This is a problem that can be solved. Eventually, it will be solved. I intend to see that the United States does everything we possibly can to be of help."

    Referring to his imminent 11-day European trip that includes visits to Greece and Turkey, Mr. Clinton stated that he would urge both Athens and Ankara to make progress in overcoming their differences, particularly over Cyprus, so that they can serve as unifying forces in Europe.

    " I'm going to speak about the vital role Greece is playing and can play in Europe," he stated, adding, "the one thing standing between Greece and its true potential is the tension in its relationship with Turkey."

    Mr. Clinton noted that both Greece and Turkey have demonstrated, through peacekeeping in the Balkans and recovery from devastating earthquakes earlier this year, that they can work with each other.

    He said Greece, as the world's oldest democracy, can help stabilize emerging Balkan nations, while Turkey, "a country at the cross- roads of Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia," could be a valuable bridge between Europe and Islamic countries.

    In regards to Russia, Mr. Clinton called for building "the right kind of partnership" with Moscow.

    "Russia's transformation has just begun. It is incomplete, it is awkward. Sometimes it is not pretty," he said, adding "years from now, I don't think we will be criticized, any of us, for doing too much to help. But we can certainly be criticized if we do too little."

    Clinton also appealed for bringing stability to the Balkans so that "bitter ethnic problems can no longer be exploited by dictators and Americans do not have to cross the Atlantic again to fight in another war."

    Referring to Serb President Slobodan Milosevic, Mr. Clinton stated that he is "the last living relic of the age of European dictators of the communist era."

    [20] US PRESIDENT: GREECE IS A MODEL OF DEMOCRACY

    Greece is a model of democracy, stated the United States President Bill Clinton during his address at Georgetown University yesterday who also added that his forthcoming visit to Athens will highlight the viable role that can be carried out by Athens in the Balkan region.

    Mr. Clinton added that the tension between Greek-Turkish relations remains to be resolved, an issue that constitutes one of the US's three priorities in Europe.

    [21] PM TO MEET WITH FRENCH COUNTERPART IN PARIS TODAY

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis, presently in Paris for the 21St session of the Socialist International, is to meet with his French counterpart Jacques Chirac today with whom he will discuss matters pertaining to the European Union's enlargement.

    Yesterday, Mr. Simitis met with his counterparts from France and Italy, Messrs. Lionel Jospin and Massimo D'Alema respectively, while today he may also meet with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

    [22] PM URGES: DIFFERENTIATE SOCIALISM FROM NEO- LIBERALISM

    Addressing the XXI Socialist International Conference in Paris, Prime Minister Costas Simitis stressed the need to establish clear boundaries between Socialism and Neo-liberalism, while he also expressed his reservations over the ability of international organizations to intervene in a region for humanitarian reasons.

    Mr. Simitis supported that an amendment should be incorporated in the relevant provision according to which any intervention should be in compliance with international law and United Nations resolutions.

    After similar reservations were voiced by the Swedish Socialist Party, a reference was added to the Socialist Manifesto according to which "interventions undertaken for humanitarian reason" should be within the context of international law.

    [23] BALKAN ENVIRONMENTALISTS TO DISCUSS INDUSTRIAL POLLUTION

    The Balkan Environmental Association (BENA), whose headquarters are in Thessaloniki, is to discuss industrial pollution during its second conference to be held on November 19-21 at the Sciences Academy of Bulgaria, in Sofia.

    The over 300 Balkan delegates are to examine the domestic and regional effects of industrial pollution and relevant legislation, while various proposals on environmental protection are to also be tabled.

    [24] SIMITIS-CHIRAC MEETING IN PARIS

    Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis will meet in Paris this afternoon with French president Jacques Chirac within the framework of the 21st conference of the Socialist International. In the agenda of the discussions are included the European Union enlargement, the Helsinki summit meeting, Turkey's EU candidature and the Cyprus issue.

    Meanwhile, the socialist leaders are expected to sign a joint statement on the right of intervention internationally. The Greek prime minister suggested that such interventions should be in accordance with international law and the United Nations resolutions.

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