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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-11-12

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 12, 1999

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] PREMIER, OPPOSITION ARGUE OVER WHAT'S GOOD FOR THE COUNTRY
  • [02] THREE COMMUNIST PARTY MEMBERS ATTACKED BY SIX MASKED MEN
  • [03] FOREIGN MINISTER RECEIVES TURKEY'S FORMER FM IN ATHENS
  • [04] INNER CABINET CONVENES TODAY TO DISCUSS SECURITY
  • [05] C/TEE REPORT: PARTHENON MARBLES ARE IRREPARABLY DAMAGED
  • [06] PUBLIC FORUM TO BE HELD TOMORROW ON GREEK IMMIGRANTS
  • [07] WORLD EXTRAVAGANZA, THESSALONIKI 40TH FILM FESTIVAL, OPENS
  • [08] EU REGIONAL POLICY COMMISSIONER ARRIVES IN ATHENS TODAY
  • [09] THE GOVERNMENT WILL DEFEND THE CLINTON VISIT
  • [10] KARAMANLIS VISITED FLOOD VICTIMS
  • [11] THE 1998-1999 ABDI IPEKCI PRIZES CEREMONY WAS HELD IN ATHENS TODAY
  • [12] THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN COMMENTED ON THE CLINTON VISIT
  • [13] NIKOS BAKOLAS A DISTIGUISHED AUTHOR, POET AND JOURNALIST DIED TODAY
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [14] STATE DEPARTMENT IS CONFIDENT OF GREEK SECURITY MEASURES
  • [15] GREEK-AMERICAN LEADERS COMMENT ON CLINTON'S UPCOMING VISIT
  • [16] GREECE'S FORMER FM MEETS WITH YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC
  • [17] MACEDONIA-THRACE MINISTER CONTINUES OFFICIAL VISIT TO SOFIA
  • [18] FYROM: PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS SECOND ROUND HELD ON SUNDAY
  • [19] MAGRIOTIS: GREECE IS THE MAIN PARTNER IN THE BALKANS
  • [20] MESSAGE BY PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS TO HIS BULGARIAN COUNTERPART ON THE BURGAS- ALEXANDROUPOLIS OIL PIPE LINE - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] PREMIER, OPPOSITION ARGUE OVER WHAT'S GOOD FOR THE COUNTRY

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis lashed out at the country's opposition parties yesterday, stating that they are "refusing to assume their responsibilities" and accusing them of exploiting US President Bill Clinton's imminent visit for political reasons.

    "They are not really interested in Clinton's visit, they do not support Greece's interests," Mr. Simitis stated after a meeting with Costas Karamanlis, the leader of the country's main opposition party of New Democracy.

    Moreover, Mr. Simitis accused New Democracy of exploiting the visit for political reasons.

    Mr. Karamanlis called the change in Mr. Clinton's program "serious national damage."

    He stated that "the Prime Minister gives the impression he is pulling back, that he cannot manage the great issues, that he cannot courageously raise his voice."

    Furthermore, Mr. Karamanlis criticized Washington's "equidistant policy" between Greece and Turkey, which he said would "result in encouraging Turkish aggression and provocation."

    [02] THREE COMMUNIST PARTY MEMBERS ATTACKED BY SIX MASKED MEN

    The government and the opposition parties have strongly condemned yesterday's attack by six masked men against three members of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) at its offices in Athens.

    Government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas called the attack a "despicable act against democratic legality, and is the work of forces wishing to undermine the country's normal course."

    The opposition parties of the Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) and the Democratic and Social Movement (DHKKI) also condemned the attack, while KKE accused the government of cultivating the grounds for such acts.

    The suspects, who fled the scene and have yet to be arrested, entered the party's premises around 6:30 p.m. yesterday and attacked the victims with crowbars and clubs.

    The three male victims, aged 81, 47 and 23, were hospitalized.

    [03] FOREIGN MINISTER RECEIVES TURKEY'S FORMER FM IN ATHENS

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou is to receive Turkey's former foreign minister Hikmet Cetin in Athens today.

    Mr. Cetin is presently in Athens where he will attend the awards ceremony held by the Abdi Ipekci committee on Greek-Turkish rapprochement.

    A Turkish railways "Friendship Train" arrived in Athens yesterday, transporting Turkish reporters and railway workers as well as representatives of the Turkish emergency rescue unit ACUT. The awards are being held on the anniversary of the death of the founder of the modern Turkish state, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

    [04] INNER CABINET CONVENES TODAY TO DISCUSS SECURITY

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis is to chair an inner cabinet meeting today which will review security-related issues and the protest rallies planned in light of US President Bill Clinton's forthcoming visit.

    Mr. Simitis stated yesterday that while protests and rallies are not to be banned, people should welcome the US president in a manner befitting the country's tradition of hospitality.

    The Premier accused the opposition of using Mr. Clinton's visit in order to incite anti-US sentiment for short-term political gain.

    He further stated that the US president's visit is an "important and positive event," adding that in order to "highlight the current positive image of Greece, we must be present, not absent."

    He also stressed the importance of items to be discussed such as bilateral relations, Cyprus, Greek-Turkish relations, and the situation in the Balkans.

    [05] C/TEE REPORT: PARTHENON MARBLES ARE IRREPARABLY DAMAGED

    A team of Greek experts who examined the state of the Parthenon Marbles housed in the British Museum, have found that the priceless monuments have undergone irreparable damage resulting from the cleaning process conducted by British Museum workers about 50 years ago who "scrubbed them really clean".

    The committee's 100-page report was forwarded to Culture Minister Elizabeth Papazoi who stated that the findings will be officially announced at the end of the month. She further added that the extend of the damage runs beyond all prior estimations.

    [06] PUBLIC FORUM TO BE HELD TOMORROW 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.

    [07] WORLD EXTRAVAGANZA, THESSALONIKI 40TH FILM FESTIVAL, OPENS

    Thessaloniki's 40th International Film Festival is opening today, 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 at the opening ceremony.

    [08] EU REGIONAL POLICY COMMISSIONER ARRIVES IN ATHENS TODAY

    The European Union's Regional Policy Commissioner Michel Barnier will conduct a visit to Athens today, 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.

    [09] THE GOVERNMENT WILL DEFEND THE CLINTON VISIT

    The governmental committee in its meeting held under prime minister Kostas Simitis decided that the government will defend the Clinton visit in order to pass off smoothly.

    The decision has already been conveyed to US ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns by Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou who outlined the ways in which this decision will be safeguarded.

    The situation that has been created as a result of the imminent visit by the US president was also examined in the governmental committee meeting and it was decided that the protest rallies will not be banned but there will be restrictions regarding their time and place to avoid coinciding with the events that will be attended by the US president.

    [10] KARAMANLIS VISITED FLOOD VICTIMS

    Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis toured the regions hit by the recent floods accompanied by Mr. Meimarakis in charge of the party's infrastructures division.

    Mr. Karamanlis talked with residents of Nea Peramos and Megara and visited businesses and houses destroyed by the floods. He also went to the prefecture of Lakonia in the Peloponese southern Greece and visited the regions of Elos and Githio.

    In his statements, Mr. Karamanlis accused the government of being responsible for the fact that basic infrastructure projects have not been completed and suggested that the compensation paid to the flood victims should be equal to that given by the government to the earthquake victims.

    [11] THE 1998-1999 ABDI IPEKCI PRIZES CEREMONY WAS HELD IN ATHENS TODAY

    The 1998-1999 Peace and Friendship Abdi Ipekci awards ceremony was held in Athens today.

    The Greek panel of judges chairman and member of the Academy of Athens Tasos Athanasiadis in his speech made a special reference to Turkish author Kemal Yaltsin who received the Ipekci communication prize. Yaltsin had returned a trousseau to its Greek owners which they had entrusted with his grandfather 76 years ago. This action received wide publicity after an exclusive report by MPA on October 30, 1998. A honorary diploma was given to MPA journalist Angela Fotopoulou who wrote the report and proposed Yaltsin for an Ipekci award. A honorary diploma was also given to New Democracy parliament deputy Giorgos Sourlas who also had proposed Yaltsin for an Ipekci award.

    Mr. Tasos Athanasiadis also praised the effort of three Turkish students who wrote compositions in which the spirit of the Greek- Turkish friendship was promoted.

    The director of the Turkish newspaper "Milliyet", Yaltsin Dogan pointed out that a crime namely, the murder of Ipekci became the reason for the creation of friendship ties between Greece and Turkey while a disaster such as, the recent devastating earthquakes in the two countries brought the two people together.

    The special Ipekci Award was received by New Democracy honorary president Konstantinos Mitsotakis, the rescue teams of EMAK from Greece and AKUT from Turkey, the Greek fire department that took part in EMAK and the Greek division of the "Doctors of the World".

    Former Turkish national assembly president Hikmet Cetin gave a special Ipekci award to Liberal party leader and former minister Stephanos Manos and Coalition of the Left parliament deputy Mustafa Mustafa.

    Mr. Cetin and Republican Popular Party president Altan Oimen expressed the wish that the Greek-Turkish relations will be further improved. Mr. Cetin stated that the best way to solve the problems between the two countries is the dialogue, adding that if Greece makes one more step in the Helsinki summit meeting the friendship between the two peoples will be further promoted.

    In his message, Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem mentions that after the earthquakes the rapprochement of the two peoples has increased the hope for the solution of the problems, while a similar message was sent by Turkish prime minister Bulent Ecevit.

    Ipekci communication awards were received by Greek Euro-deputies Anna Karamanou and Kostas Hatzidakis.

    [12] THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN COMMENTED ON THE CLINTON VISIT

    The state has an obligation to take all necessary measures to protect the country's prestige during the Clinton visit, stressed today Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas.

    He stated that the people are free to express their beliefs but he underlined that all the necessary measures taken in every country of the world during foreign leaders' visits will be implemented.

    Mr. Reppas stated that the visit of US president Bill Clinton to Greece is very important and added that during his stay in the country the government will promote its national goals and will raise for discussion its relations with Turkey, the Cyprus problem, the developments in the Balkans and the role of Greece in the wider region.

    [13] NIKOS BAKOLAS A DISTIGUISHED AUTHOR, POET AND JOURNALIST DIED TODAY

    Distinguished journalist, author and poet Nikos Bakolas died in Thessaloniki today at the age of 72.

    He was general director of the state television channel ET-3 and informal secretary of Thessaloniki's Film Festival. He studied math in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He was married and had two children and he was a member of the Association of Journalists of Daily Newspaper in Macedonia-Thrace since 1978. In the period 1959-1967 he was in charge of Thessaloniki's International Trade Fair press office.

    He received the first state literary prize in 1988, while he was also honored with the Plotin literary prize. He also received the city medal from the municipality of Thessaloniki in recognition of his literary work.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [14] STATE DEPARTMENT IS CONFIDENT OF GREEK SECURITY MEASURES

    State Department spokesperson James Rubin expressed the Clinton Administration's confidence of Greek security measures, during yesterday's daily briefing session.

    Responding to a question regarding the postponement of the US president's visit to Greece, Mr. Rubin stated that the Greek government made a recommendation to shift the date.

    "The additional time will be used to work on the best possible schedule for the President's visit and to complete substantive preparations. The President looks forward to discussing a number of issues with Greece," he added.

    Furthermore, Mr. Rubin stated that "we agreed to the Greek government's recommendation to shift the dates and we will continue to work with them on the best possible schedule. With respect to demonstrations, we understand that people have a right to demonstrate in countries like Greece and express their views freely and peacefully and we didn't ask for demonstrations to be canceled. We are confident that the Greek Government will provide adequate security for the President's visit. I am not in a position to go into all the reasons why the Greek Government recommended a shift in schedule but I can say security is always a concern when the President travels, wherever he goes, whether it's Greece or Africa or the Middle East or anywhere else, and security considerations have to be taken into account. That's the reality of the modern world."

    Regarding Greece's counter- terrorism efforts, Mr. Rubin stated that the State Department continues to cooperate closely with the Greek authorities to eliminate the threat from "17 November" and other terrorist organizations.

    "We are working well with Prime Minister Simitis and Minister of Public Order Chrysochoides who visited Washington in October to discuss this issue. We do take this matter very seriously. We are working together seriously on the problem of terrorism and we need to continue to do that work."

    [15] GREEK-AMERICAN LEADERS COMMENT ON CLINTON'S UPCOMING VISIT

    Leading members of the Greek-American community in the United States have expressed their satisfaction over the forthcoming visit to Greece by US President Bill Clinton, most of them agreeing that the one-week delay could grant the opportunity to achieve progress on the Cyprus issue.

    The president of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) and national chairman of the United Hellenic American Congress (UHAC) Andrew Athens, stated "we understand that some encouraged the president to skip his visit to Greece. His overruling of that recommendation says something about his commitment to Greece."

    The leader of the International Coordinating Committee-Justice for Cyprus and of the Pancypriot Association of America Philip Christopher warned that "the Cyprus issue cannot wait.

    "It is crucial that President Clinton secure some substantive movement toward a just and viable Cyprus settlement now. Without a visit to both Turkey and Greece, hope for such movement would be greatly diminished," he stated.

    Andrew Manatos, president of the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH), said that "now that President Clinton will be visiting Greece after Turkey, it will afford him a better opportunity to achieve the goal he seeks -- to have positive progress to report to Greece."

    AHEPA expressed hope that during President Clinton's stay in Athens the problems created by the Turkish provocations in the Aegean and the ongoing occupation of part of Cyprus will be discussed in depth.

    Archbishop of America Demetrios has also expressed optimism on the success of Mr. Clinton's visit.

    "I am aware of the difficulties with the American president's official visit, but I am confident that it could prove very beneficial for finding solutions to the various problems of the countries of the region," he stated yesterday.

    [16] GREECE'S FORMER FM MEETS WITH YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC

    Former foreign minister Karolos Papoulias was received by Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade yesterday with whom he discussed relations between Yugoslavia and Greece and matters pertaining to the Balkan region.

    Mr. Papoulias, who presides over the parliamentary committee for foreign relations and defense, called for an end to international pressure against Yugoslavia, while President Milosevic stated that the Greek people deserve the utmost of respect for their wholehearted support for the people of Yugoslavia during NATO's bombing.

    The Yugoslav president stressed that Greece and Yugoslavia are bound by a permanent and common target to develop close and mutual relations and cooperation in all fields, having the long-standing friendship between the two peoples as a solid basis.

    Furthermore, Mr. Milosevic stated that the international pressures exerted upon Yugoslavia are factors of instability in Southeastern Europe.

    [17] MACEDONIA-THRACE MINISTER CONTINUES OFFICIAL VISIT TO SOFIA

    The Minister of Macedonia and Thrace Yiannis Magriotis is continuing his official visit to Sofia today, where he is accompanied by the undersecretary of National Economy Rodoula Zisi and a delegation of 45 Greek entrepreneurs interested in forming business liaisons with their Bulgarian counterparts.

    Mr. Magriotis stated that his visit to Bulgaria is taking placing within the cooperation protocol standing between the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace and the Bulgarian Ministry of Trade and Tourism.

    Bulgaria's Minister of Trade and Tourism Valedin Vasilev met with Ms. Zisi with whom he signed a protocol ratifying an agreement that calls for Greece granting ECU900,000 in aid to Bulgaria.

    Moreover, the two officials discussed the issue of double taxation avoidance, which agreement has been drafted and is awaiting ratification by the Bulgarian parliament.

    Addressing the opening ceremony of the business forum presently held in Sofia, Mr. Magriotis referred to the climate of cooperation present in Greek-Bulgarian relations, while he stressed the need to develop the cooperation program by the onstart of the next millennium, targeting the year 2004 when Greece will host the Olympic Games.

    Furthermore, Mr. Magriotis noted that Greece and Bulgaria constitute the "duet" of stability in the Balkan region, thus having an opportunity to potentially serve as a model of multifaceted cooperation in a region torn by crises and wars.

    The Minister also pointed out that an overwhelming eighty percent of Greek businesses active in Bulgaria are from the region of Macedonia and Thrace.

    Referring to the Organization for the Reconstruction of Southeastern Europe, with Thessaloniki as its headquarters, as well as the Stability Pact, Mr. Magriotis stressed the need to form the comprehensive plan of both the European Union and the countries participating in the Stability Pact for the reconstruction of the overall southeast European region, not only Kosovo, and he also stressed the need to form local liaison offices in each host country which will be responsible for the materialization of the said country's development program.

    Mr. Magriotis is to be received by the Bulgarian Prime Minister Ivan Kostov tomorrow to whom he will relay a written message on behalf of Greece's Premier Costas Simitis.

    [18] FYROM: PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS SECOND ROUND HELD ON SUNDAY

    Sunday's second round of presidential elections in FYROM is to be a tight race between the candidate of the government coalition Boris Trajkovski and the Social Democratic Alliance's Tito Petkovsi, the main contenders vying for the country's top post.

    According to the latest polls, Mr. Petkovski seems to have an edge over his opponent, although any prediction could be tipped by abstentionists coming forth from each camp.

    A 50%+1 turn-out is required to make the second round result valid. Albanian-speaking voters represent approximately one-fifth of FYROM's electorate body, while the Democratic Alliance's voters amount to about 160,000.

    If the Albanian minority and Vasil Tupurkovski's supporters abstain from the vote, fears abound that the participation rate will not surpass the fifty per cent mark, thus leading the country to a new round of presidential elections within the net six months.

    [19] MAGRIOTIS: GREECE IS THE MAIN PARTNER IN THE BALKANS

    Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Yiannis Magriotis stated, during his meeting in Sofia last night with the members of delegations participating in a business forum that is being held in the Bulgarian capital, that Greece is the main partner in the Balkans.

    Mr. Magriotis referred especially to the prospects for the Greek-Bulgarian relations created by the EU Balkan reconstruction programs and Greece's reconstruction program drawn up for those regions. He said that the prospects are very positive and added that Greece will have a powerful economic and institutional presence in the region in the following years, a fact that will function as a safety umbrella for the Greek companies which are active in Bulgaria.

    Addressing the representatives of the business world in northern Greece, Mr. Magriotis made an extensive reference to the construction of the Egnatia road network which will facilitate the Greek business activities in the Balkans.

    [20] MESSAGE BY PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS TO HIS BULGARIAN COUNTERPART ON THE BURGAS- ALEXANDROUPOLIS OIL PIPE LINE

    Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis sent a message of cooperation and called for the speeding up of the procedures for the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipe line to his Bulgarian counterpart Ivan Kostov.

    The message was delivered by minister of Macedonia-Thrace Yiannis Magriotis, who is on a formal visit to Bulgaria and was handed to minister of commerce and tourism Mr. Basiliev as prime minister Kostov had to attend a crucial session of the Bulgarian parliament.

    In his message the Greek prime minister expresses satisfaction over the excellent relations of the two countries that were confirmed in the recent tripartite summit meeting of Greece, Bulgaria and Romania in Borovec. He also assured his Bulgarian counterpart that Greece is willing to promote contacts at all levels for the further consolidation of the excellent bilateral relations in order to be more productive especially in the economic sector.

    Mr. Simitis mentioned in his message that everything agreed on the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipe line project must be done with the participation of the Bulgarian side given the fact that the specific project will secure the best possible economic terms for the flow of oil into Europe and will contribute to the attraction of new investments. On the opening of three new border crossings Mr. Simitis said that the Greek side makes steps of progress and expects a similar progress from the Bulgarian side.

    Mr. Simitis also said that he shares the view on the decisive significance of the free navigation in the Danube river and underlined that he is willing to raise the issue in the European Union.

    The Greek prime minister reiterated that Greece backs the efforts of Bulgaria to become part of the Euro-Atlantic structures and will offer its assistance not only by backing it in the different fora but by offering know-how and economic assistance.

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