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

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 11, 1999

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] ATHENS-WASHINGTON DISPLEASED WITH TRIP'S POSTPONEMENT
  • [02] EU REGIONAL POLICY COMMISSIONER IN ATHENS TOMORROW
  • [03] OPPOSITION PARTIES REACT TO POSTPONEMENT OF CLINTON'S VISIT
  • [04] MACEDONIA-THRACE MINISTER CONDUCTS OFFICIAL VISIT TO SOFIA
  • [05] WORLD FILM EXTRAVAGANZA, THESSALONIKI'S 40TH FESTIVAL, OPENS
  • [06] KAKLAMANIS MET WITH HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENTARIANS
  • [07] OVER 300.000 ILLEGAL GUNS IN GREECE
  • [08] SIMITIS: THE CLINTON VISIT IS A MAJOR EVENT
  • [09] KARAMANLIS: THE POSTPONEMENT OF THE CLINTON VISIT IS A SERIOUS NATIONAL DAMAGE
  • [10] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTRY: THE TWO POLITICAL PARTIES OF THE GREEK MINORITY IN ALBANIA REACHED A SIGNIFICANT AGREEMENT
  • [11] GOVERNMENT MEETING ON THE PREPARATIONS FOR THE CLINTON VISIT
  • [12] 80% OF THE GREEK ATHLETES USE STEROIDS, ACCORDING TO UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS
  • [13] MR. REPPAS DENIED THE RUMORS ON FRICTION BETWEEN THE PRIME MINISTER AND THE FOREIGN MINISTRY
  • [14] THE TURKISH "TRAIN OF FRIENDSHIP" ARRIVED IN ATHENS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [15] SIX-STORY BUILDING COLLAPSES IN ITALY, RESCUE UNDER WAY
  • [16] BELGRADE QUESTIONS MASS GRAVES REPORTS AND NUMBERS
  • [17] GREECE'S FORMER FM MEETS WITH SERB PRESIDENT MILUTINOVIC
  • [18] GREEK PRESIDENT IN SLOVENIA, APPEALS FOR BALKAN STABILITY
  • [19] BILL CLINTON NOT CONCERNED AT ALL OVER TRIP'S POSTPONEMENT
  • [20] ARCHBISHOP OF AMERICA SALUTES CLINTON'S VISIT TO ATHENS
  • [21] STEPHANOPOULOS: THE COUNTRY IS NOT GOVERNED WITH OPINION POLLS - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] ATHENS-WASHINGTON DISPLEASED WITH TRIP'S POSTPONEMENT

    Propelled by concerns over the mounting protests in Greece, the US State Department announced that President Bill Clinton's visit to Greece will be postponed until Friday, November 19, i.e. five days later than it was originally planned for.

    While Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou stressed that Athens and Washington mutually decided to postpone US President Bill Clinton's trip, which has also been shortened considerably to a mere 24 hours, displeasure abounds among diplomatic circles.

    During his stay in Athens, Mr. Clinton will meet with the President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos and Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

    [02] EU REGIONAL POLICY COMMISSIONER IN ATHENS TOMORROW

    The European Union's Regional Policy Commissioner Michel Barnier will conduct a visit to Athens on November 12, where he is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Foreign Minister George Papandreou with whom he will discuss issues pertaining to the inter- governmental conference and innovations in institutional affairs, in view of the European Union's expansion.

    Mr. Barnier will also meet with National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou to discuss regional policy issues.

    [03] OPPOSITION PARTIES REACT TO POSTPONEMENT OF CLINTON'S VISIT

    After the announcement that US President Bill Clinton was postponing his visit to Athens by one week, the spokesperson of Greece's main opposition party, New s Aris Spiliotopoulos, called the news a "monument of irresponsibility."

    Mr. Spiliotopoulos charged that the government lacks the courage to express clear and stable positions.

    "It wavers because it is burdened by domestic and international pressures. Greece's prestige and international image is harmed by the government's improvisations and amateurishness, " he added.

    New Democracy's honorary president, and former prime minister, Constantinos Mitsotakis, stated that the postponement caused serious national harm to Greece and added that the development will propel the US "into Turkey's embrace."

    The Liberal Party, led by Stephanos Manos, stated that the consistent outcries of anti- Americanism are making Greece a "European Iran of Khomenei".

    The Greek Communist Party, which plans to intensify its rallies next week, said the protests are sending a message to Washington and erecting a barrier to "imperialist aims".

    The leader of the Democratic and Social Movement (DIKKI) Dimitris Tsovolas, said that the new world order cannot be imposed on peoples who oppose it.

    Coalition of the Left and Progress leader Nikos Constantopoulos accused the Greek government of duplicity and secretiveness.

    [04] MACEDONIA-THRACE MINISTER CONDUCTS OFFICIAL VISIT TO SOFIA

    The Minister of Macedonia and Thrace Yiannis Magriotis is embarking on a two-day, official visit to Sofia today, where he will meet with Bulgarian Prime Minister Ivan Kostov.

    During his talks with Mr. Kostov, Mr. Magriotis will relay a message from Greek Premier Costas Simitis.

    Accompanying the Minister is the undersecretary of National Economy Rodoula Zisi and a delegation of Greek entrepreneurs who will meet with Bulgaria's Minister of Trade and Tourism Valedin Vasilev and will review various projects within the framework of Greece's initiative on Bulgaria's economic reconstruction.

    [05] WORLD FILM EXTRAVAGANZA, THESSALONIKI'S 40TH FESTIVAL, OPENS

    Thessaloniki's 40th International Film Festival is opening tomorrow, giving movie aficionados the opportunity to view David Lynch's "The Straight Story" and enjoy the live sounds of the Nino Rota Ensemble.

    This year's festival, November 12-21, features 139 entries from around the world, while director Pedro Almodovar and French actress Catherine Deneuve will be the honored guests.

    [06] KAKLAMANIS MET WITH HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENTARIANS

    Greek parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis met with a three-member delegation of the Hungarian parliament European integration committee.

    The normalization of the situation in the Balkans, the consolidation of peace and security and the isolation of the idea to bring any change in the region's borders serve the general interest of the people in the Balkans, said Mr. Kaklamanis. He also said that any change in the borders will create a chain reaction that will affect every country in the region, underlining that Greece and Hungary are two poles of stability in the fragile region of south-eastern Europe especially after the recent tragic events in Kosovo.

    From their side, the Hungarian parliamentarians agreed with Mr. Kaklamanis that there should be no change in the borders because this would create new problems in the region and efforts should intensify for the consolidation of peace and security and the safeguarding of the rights of the minorities.

    [07] OVER 300.000 ILLEGAL GUNS IN GREECE

    Over 300.000 guns are illegally in the hands of people in Greece causing concern to police authorities. Specifically, 126 automatic guns had been confiscated by October 31 this year, while in the same period of time in 1995 the confiscated guns of that type were only 34.

    According to a report published by the Athens newspaper "TO VIMA", the sensitive region of the Greek-Albanian borders is the main gate through which most illegal guns and ammunition enter the Greek territory to be channeled mainly to the island of Crete in southern Greece and to Athens and less to other regions. The guns are sold to people of the night, gang members, hobbyists and plain citizens who want a gun for their own personal safety.

    [08] SIMITIS: THE CLINTON VISIT IS A MAJOR EVENT

    Prime minister Kostas Simitis in statements he made today after the meeting he had with right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis, characterized the imminent visit by US president Bill Clinton as a major event.

    Mr. Simitis condemned all those who are against the Clinton visit and stressed that beyond their party positions their point of view according to which, Mr. Clinton's visit by itself is harmful, does not serve the interests of Greece. He accused Mr. Karamanlis of attempting to exploit the postponement of the visit for party purposes and attack the government.

    Mr. Simitis stated that during the Clinton visit to Athens the Greek government will raise the issues that concern the country and the wider region such as, the Cyprus issue, the Greek-Turkish relations, the role of Greece in the Balkans and the developments in the region of south-eastern Europe. He also called on the Greek people to respect their great tradition in hospitality.

    The prime minister stated that the Clinton visit is to the interest of the country and its best possible planning as well as, the constructive climate during the visit will contribute to the improvement of relations. He also said that the political parties from a certain point on are not simply against the Clinton administration or the United States but against the country's interests.

    Responding to a question on New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis, who spoke of a serious national damage, Mr. Simitis said that New Democracy has a tendency to personify the political problems and looks for a way out by launching personal attacks, adding that New Democracy is an anti-American, anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist movement.

    [09] KARAMANLIS: THE POSTPONEMENT OF THE CLINTON VISIT IS A SERIOUS NATIONAL DAMAGE

    Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis characterized the postponement of the Clinton visit as a serious national damage in statements he made immediately after the meeting he had with prime minister Kostas Simitis.

    Mr. Karamanlis blamed the prime minister for the way the issue was handled. He said that the United States must realize that the policy of equal distances encourages the Turkish provocation and that Greece can not assist in the efforts to open the door for Turkey if the preconditions set in Luxembourg are not met and its expansionist behavior does not change.

    The New Democracy leader pointed out that for as long as Greece will not have a voice its national interests will be undermined and reiterated the proposal of his party for the establishment of a national council on foreign policy.

    [10] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTRY: THE TWO POLITICAL PARTIES OF THE GREEK MINORITY IN ALBANIA REACHED A SIGNIFICANT AGREEMENT

    Yesterday's political agreement between the two political parties of the Greek minority in Albania, namely the Human Rights Union and Omonia, is a significant development for the Greek minority, according to the Greek foreign ministry.

    The two political parties that represent the Greek minority agreed to have political cooperation at all levels starting with local administration in view of the municipal elections in the year 2000, while later they will continue their cooperation in the imminent parliamentary elections.

    [11] GOVERNMENT MEETING ON THE PREPARATIONS FOR THE CLINTON VISIT

    Issues that concern the imminent visit of US president Bill Clinton to Greece were discussed in the governmental meeting that was held today under prime minister Kostas Simitis. In the meeting were present minister of interior Vaso Papandreou, press and mass media minister Dimitris Reppas, public order minister Michalis Chrisochoidis and environment, public works and land planning minister Kostas Laliotis.

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated after the meeting that they discussed the new developments on the Clinton visit, while minister of interior Ms. Papandreou spoke of responsibilities in the postponement of the Clinton visit and stated that it is time for everyone, both the government and the opposition, to assume their responsibilities.

    [12] 80% OF THE GREEK ATHLETES USE STEROIDS, ACCORDING TO UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS

    Cancer, heart diseases and death are some of the effects of the uncontrolled use of steroids which according to unofficial figures, concern 80% of the Greek athletes.

    Their uncontrolled use has taken up explosive dimensions as commercialization has affected sports as well and the dominance of the team, the country or the athlete has become with the tolerance of society the primary goal having huge economic and moral consequences.

    Those revelations were made by sports medicine professor in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Asterios Deiliyannis in a press conference that was given on the occasion of the 5th international conference of the sports medicine society in northern Greece that will take place in Thessaloniki on November 18-21.

    [13] MR. REPPAS DENIED THE RUMORS ON FRICTION BETWEEN THE PRIME MINISTER AND THE FOREIGN MINISTRY

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas denied the rumors on friction between the prime minister and the foreign ministry because of the postponement of the Clinton visit to Athens saying characteristically that there is not even a trace of truth in those rumors.

    On the date of the visit, Mr. Reppas said that both governments agreed that the discussions had to be held in a better climate but this does not mean that the government is not ready for the visit now. He also said that the political part of the visit will not change, adding that it can be useful for Greece and its significance has not been downgraded. Mr. Reppas said that it would have been a damage in the US- Greek relations in case of a cancellation of the US president's visit.

    Regarding the mobilizations and the protests against the Clinton visit, the Greek government spokesman stated that all possible guarantees for the safety of the US president are being offered, adding that the state will take all necessary measures to safeguard Greece's image and prestige, while he called on everyone to show a sense of responsibility in order for the visit to pass off smoothly.

    On the agenda of the talks, Mr. Reppas stated that bilateral issues will be discussed as well as issues that are of vital importance for Greece such as, the Cyprus problem, the Greek-Turkish relations and Greece's role in the Balkans.

    Finally, responding to the question on whether a tripartite meeting of Simitis, Ecevit and Clinton has been scheduled to take place in the OSCE meeting in Istanbul, he said no such meeting has been scheduled adding however, that in such gatherings there are opportunities for meetings of a social nature or for an exchange of political views.

    [14] THE TURKISH "TRAIN OF FRIENDSHIP" ARRIVED IN ATHENS

    The "Train of Friendship" from Istanbul arrived in Athens today after a stop in Thessaloniki. The 60member delegation that made up the Turkish mission left Istanbul at the initiative of the Turkish Railways and the Turkish state radio and television TRT.

    The general director of TRT visited the Greek state radio and television, ERT, building in Athens at noon today and met with his Greek counterpart. Their talks focused on ways of cooperation between the two radio and television networks.

    The visit was decided on the occasion of the anniversary of the death of Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey who was born in Thessaloniki, and the Peace and Friendship Ipekci Awards ceremony that will be held tomorrow in Athens.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [15] SIX-STORY BUILDING COLLAPSES IN ITALY, RESCUE UNDER WAY

    A score of people were killed when a six- story apartment building in the southern Italian city of Foggia collapsed early this morning.

    Rescue teams have so far recovered eight survivors from beneath the ruins, while officials are stating that they expect many more bodies to be removed.

    As no explosion was reported prior to the collapse, experts suspect structural problems caused the demise of the 30-year-old building, which had 26 apartments.

    [16] BELGRADE QUESTIONS MASS GRAVES REPORTS AND NUMBERS

    The Serb Parliament has ratified legislation which, according to the opposition parties, will limit the authority held by those municipalities with strong-anti-government leanings. Meanwhile, Belgrade has challenged the validity of reports concerning the number of bodies discovered in mass graves at Kosovo. According to the International Court's reports, over 2,100 corpses have been discovered.

    [17] GREECE'S FORMER FM MEETS WITH SERB PRESIDENT MILUTINOVIC

    Former Foreign Minister Carolos Papoulias met with Serb President Milan Milutinovic in Belgrade yesterday, where he called for an end to international pressure against Yugoslavia.

    Mr. Papoulias, who presides over the parliamentary committee for foreign relations and defense, stated that that the end of all pressures against Serbia and Yugoslavia is the only course towards the establishment of good relations and cooperation in the Balkans region.

    Furthermore, Mr. Papoulias expressed Athens' support to the "reconstruction and the development of Serbia" as well as "the territorial integrity and sovereignty" of Yugoslavia.

    [18] GREEK PRESIDENT IN SLOVENIA, APPEALS FOR BALKAN STABILITY

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos, presently on a three-day, official visit to Slovenia, met with his Slovenian counterpart Milan Kucan in Ljubljana yesterday.

    Messrs. Kucan and Stephanopoulos issued a joint appeal for support for a quickening of the process of stabilization and democratization in the Balkans, both vowing that their countries will continue their efforts in the region.

    Moreover, both leaders agreed that the conflicts in southeast Europe were not so much the result of inter-ethnic tensions, but rather antagonism between democratic and totalitarian ideals.

    President Stephanopoulos relayed the Greek government's support for Slovenian efforts towards accession to the European Union and NATO.

    [19] BILL CLINTON NOT CONCERNED AT ALL OVER TRIP'S POSTPONEMENT

    In response to a question on the postponement of his trip to Athens, United States President Bill Clinton stated yesterday that he is not concerned at all.

    "As you know, if the Greek government and the Secret Service aren't concerned. I am not concerned," he stated, adding "I explained yesterday that the Greeks have a tradition of large demonstrations, and the communists, the anarchists, perhaps some others in Greece, want to demonstrate in large measure, I understand, because they strongly disagree with my policy in Kosovo and presumably before that in Bosnia.

    "And you know, I think we were right, and I disagree with them. But the fact that they have the right to free speech doesn't concern me," he added.

    Mr. Clinton also stated that the Greek government asked the State Department to reschedule his trip after, rather than before, the OSCE meeting in Turkey.

    [20] ARCHBISHOP OF AMERICA SALUTES CLINTON'S VISIT TO ATHENS

    Aware of the troubles surrounding the imminent visit of United States President Bill Clinton to Greece, the Archbishop of America Dimitrios stated that he remains optimistic of its outcome.

    "I am aware of the difficulties (surrounding) the official visit to Greece, but I am convinced that it can prove to be especially beneficial for the discovery of solutions to the various problems in the region's countries," the Archbishop stated.

    Moreover, he stated that the Greek-American community is praying for the complete success of president Clinton's visit to Greece and views this visit as an opportunity for the further strengthening of the already-friendly ties between Greece and the United States.

    Archbishop Dimitrios will be an official guest at the dinner to be hosted by the Greek government in honor of President Clinton on November 19, in Athens.

    [21] STEPHANOPOULOS: THE COUNTRY IS NOT GOVERNED WITH OPINION POLLS

    The Greek president, who is on a visit to Slovenia, refused to comment on the opinion polls according to which, he has the approval of the overwhelming majority of the Greek people as a result of his important work while in the post.

    President Kostis Stephanopoulos responding to a MPA question on the opinion polls that put him ahead in popularity with an overwhelming majority in view of the imminent presidential elections, said that he is not aware of those opinion polls and that the country is not governed with them.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos visited the Slovenian parliament this morning and met with its president and with parliamentary party leaders while later he visited the dean of the University of Ljubljana.

    The Greek president also stated that he will meet with US president Clinton during his visit to Greece, while he said that the statements made by the Greek and the US side on the postponement of the visit reflect the reality. On the protest marches that are being prepared to take place during the Clinton visit, he said that it is an issue that concerns the political parties, stressing that each party has its own policy, assumes its responsibilities and exercises its rights.

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