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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-11-24

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 24, 1999

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] GOVERNMENT CONCERNED OVER SOARING OIL PRICES
  • [02] GREEK STANCE IN HELSINKI IS NOT A GIVEN, FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS
  • [03] GREECE'S WEIGHTLIFTING CHAMPIONS VIE FOR MEDALS
  • [04] SAE TO HOLD THIRD CONFERENCE AT THESSALONIKI IN DECEMBER
  • [05] FULBRIGHT PROGRAM ESTABLISHES MILLENNIUM SCHOLARSHIPS
  • [06] US DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE TO OPEN OFFICE IN THESSALONIKI
  • [07] CHINESE FILM WINS BEST AWARD AT THESSALONIKI'S FESTIVAL
  • [08] STATE LOOKS INTO RELIEF MEASURES FOR INFLATIONARY PRESSURES
  • [09] EARTHQUAKE MEASURING FIVE RICHTER RATTLES IGOUMENITSA
  • [10] MACEDONIA-THRACE MINISTER MEETS DUTCH, ITALIAN DIPLOMATS
  • [11] 3 MILLION PEOPLE WILL DIE FROM AIDS BY THE END OF THE YEAR
  • [12] REPPAS: CYPRUS CAN NOT BE THE HOSTAGE OF TURKEY
  • [13] NINE PEOPLE WERE INJURED FROM THE COLLAPSE OF A BRIDGE NEAR ATHENS
  • [14] GIORGOS PAPANDREOU WILL BE IN CYPRUS TOMORROW
  • [15] SNOW IN NORTHERN GREECE
  • [16] REPPAS: THE OIL PRICE INCREASE DOES NOT AFFECT GREECE'S ACCESSION INTO THE EMU
  • [17] LOSSES OF 2.72% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [18] RECORD NUMBER OF NEW BOOK PUBLICATIONS IN GREECE
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [19] GREEK MILITARY CHIEF CONDUCTS OFFICIAL VISIT TO KOSOVO TODAY
  • [20] RUSSIANS TO DECLARE GUDERMES AS CHECHNYA'S NEW CAPITAL
  • [21] EUROPEAN COMMISSION: GREECE'S ENTRY TO EMU IS CERTAIN
  • [22] EU PRESIDENCY SETS FORTH FIVE TERMS FOR TURKEY'S CANDIDACY
  • [23] US PRAISES FOR THE BULGARIAN SECRET SERVICES
  • [24] ROKOFILLOS-SOLANA MEETING IN BRUSSELS
  • [25] THE DAMAGE CAUSED TO THE PARTHENON MARBLES IS MUCH BIGGER THAN BELIEVED
  • [26] NO PLAN FOR THE FOUNDING OF A EUROPEAN MUSEUM WAS SUBMITTED TO THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION
  • [27] THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS VIOLATIONS ARE ON THE RISE WORLDWIDE - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GOVERNMENT CONCERNED OVER SOARING OIL PRICES

    The sharp rises in liquid fuel prices recorded in international markets, after Iraq's decision to stop its oil exports, won't leave the Greek market unaffected.

    The Greek government's economic staff is troubled by this development, worried over its effect on this month's inflation rate, since it may propel it further up.

    [02] GREEK STANCE IN HELSINKI IS NOT A GIVEN, FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS

    Greece is in the midst of 'tough talks' and has not yet given a firm answer on whether it will agree to Turkey's EU candidacy at the Helsinki summit, Foreign Minister George Papandreou stated yesterday, adding that the Greek government's stance will depend on the positions and commitments which the EU will undertake on the way in which the recognition of the Turkish candidacy will be linked with the consolidation of Greek interests.

    Government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas also stated that the likelihood of Greece approving or rejecting Turkey's EU candidacy bid was "50-50".

    Government officials are in talks on the position to be taken at Helsinki, and have made clear Greece's positions on these issues, he said.

    [03] GREECE'S WEIGHTLIFTING CHAMPIONS VIE FOR MEDALS

    Greece's weightlifting champions, Valerios Leonides and George Gelilis, are vying for world championship medals at this evening's competition held at the Piraeus Stadium of Peace and Friendship.

    Olympic Games champion Leonidas Sampanis earned the silver medal in the total weight with 694 pounds, and in the snatch with 320. In the women's competition, Ioanna Chatzioannou took the bronze in the clean-and-jerk with a lift of 281.

    [04] SAE TO HOLD THIRD CONFERENCE AT THESSALONIKI IN DECEMBER

    A score of Greek dignitaries and state officials from around the world are to attend the third conference of the Council of Greeks Abroad (SAE) which will be held in Thessaloniki between December 5-9.

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos, Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, Prime Minister Costas Simitis and several party representatives will attend the conference.

    The world conference of Greek youth abroad will also be held in Thessaloniki on December 1- 2, while regional SAE will be taking place between December 3-5.

    The third council will elect an 11-member presidium, while, according to reports, SAE President Andrew Athens will seek his re- election for the third time.

    [05] FULBRIGHT PROGRAM ESTABLISHES MILLENNIUM SCHOLARSHIPS

    The Fulbright Exchange Program has established two new programs, Millennium Scholarships which will provide assistance to up to 200 Greek students wishing to pursue Master's degrees in the US, and the Aegean Communities Exchange, which will create joint research programs by Greek and Turkish scholars.

    United States President Bill Clinton, in his recent visit to Athens, announced that one of the Millennium Scholarships will be named in honor of Yiannos Kranidiotis, Greece's alternate foreign minister who died in a tragic air accident in September.

    [06] US DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE TO OPEN OFFICE IN THESSALONIKI

    The United States Department of Commerce will open a Commercial Service office in Thessaloniki to encourage investments in the Balkans and to assist companies in exploring commercial opportunities, reflecting the city's position as a commercial hub for the region.

    Moreover, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the US State Department have agreed to hold annual high-level talks on a wide range of issues, as part of an effort to deepen and enhance communication, understanding and cooperation between the two countries. Discussions will focus on areas such as European regional issues, counter-terrorism and economic cooperation.

    [07] CHINESE FILM WINS BEST AWARD AT THESSALONIKI'S FESTIVAL

    A Chinese film won the "Golden Alexander" at the 40th International Thessaloniki Film Festival's foreign section, while a nostalgic of the '60s Greek movie won top honors in the Greek section.

    "Xizhao" (Shower), a film about a father- son relationship in a China undergoing modernization, directed by Zhang Yang, won the best film award, while the Italian-French- Argentine production "Garage Olimpo", directed by Marco Bechis, placed second.

    Best director award was given to Britain's Justin Kerrigan for his "Human Traffic".

    "Peppermint", directed by 46-year-old Costas Kapakas, received top honors in the Greek film section.

    [08] STATE LOOKS INTO RELIEF MEASURES FOR INFLATIONARY PRESSURES

    Hoping to emerge unscathed from the present oil crisis, the Greek government is looking into relief measures to combat the inflationary pressures, starting with stringent checks for profiteering at gas stations.

    Transportation Minister Tasos Mantelis said that the state does not plan to hike public transportation tickets and stressed that the oil price increases are a temporary phenomenon.

    [09] EARTHQUAKE MEASURING FIVE RICHTER RATTLES IGOUMENITSA

    A strong tremor measuring five on the Richter scale occurred at 5:30 a.m. today near the Igoumenitsa area, northwestern Greece, causing only minor material damages.

    According to Aristotle University of Thessaloniki seismologist Manolis Skordilis, the wider region between Ioannina and Igoumenitsa does not have a high degree of seismic activity, although he added that two 24-hour periods need to pass before conclusions are made.

    [10] MACEDONIA-THRACE MINISTER MEETS DUTCH, ITALIAN DIPLOMATS

    The Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Yiannis Magriotis held successive meetings with the Dutch and Italian Ambassadors, Paul Brouwer and Agostino Mathis, respectively, in Thessaloniki yesterday.

    The discussion centered on Thessaloniki as headquarters of the Organization for the Reconstruction of the Balkans and the Office of the Southeastern Europe Stability Pact, as well as the opportunities for cooperation in the economic, social and tourist sectors between the three countries.

    [11] 3 MILLION PEOPLE WILL DIE FROM AIDS BY THE END OF THE YEAR

    AIDS has developed into an epidemic worldwide and according to estimates, about 3 million people will die from the virus by the end of the year, while 5.5 million children will be infected.

    The extremely alarming facts were made public in a joint report prepared by the World Health Organization and other organizations in view of the World AIDS Day on December 1.

    According to the report, most of the AIDS cases are recorded in the Sahara countries namely, about 70% of all the AIDS cases recorded worldwide.

    The situation in Moscow and the countries of eastern Europe is equally alarming because of the speedy increase in the number of drug addicts. A big increase in the AIDS cases is being observed in China as well where over 1 million people are carriers of the virus. Based on official figures, 50 million people have been infected with AIDS from the day the disease appeared until today and 16 million of them have died.

    [12] REPPAS: CYPRUS CAN NOT BE THE HOSTAGE OF TURKEY

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated that Greece is ready to say a "yes" or a "no" to Turkey's candidature in the Helsinki EU Summit meeting, adding that the Greek response will depend on many factors.

    He said that it is inconceivable for a country like Cyprus that holds talks in order to become an EU member to be held hostage by Turkey. Mr. Reppas said that the UN resolutions must be respected in Cyprus, adding that all the available means will be used to defend Cyprus' right to be considered for EU membership based on the EU criteria and not on the existing political problem.

    [13] NINE PEOPLE WERE INJURED FROM THE COLLAPSE OF A BRIDGE NEAR ATHENS

    Nine people were injured and 2 went missing when a bridge collapsed at the 5th kilometer of Markopoulos Avenue near Athens. The injured have been rushed to the nearby hospitals. Construction work was underway on the bridge aimed at reinforcing it with concrete.

    Rescue teams have arrived on the spot and are still searching for two workers who are believed to have been buried under liquid concrete. At the time of the accident there were about 100 people working on the bridge and the two who are missing were the only ones under it.

    It is a miracle that there have been no injuries among the drivers passing under the bridge when it collapsed.

    [14] GIORGOS PAPANDREOU WILL BE IN CYPRUS TOMORROW

    Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou will travel to Cyprus tomorrow for contacts with the state leadership and the political party leaders in view of the Helsinki EU Summit meeting and the opening of the proximity talks between Cypriot president Glafkoc Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    Earlier today, Mr. Papandreou met in Athens with Democratic Alarm leader Nikos Anastasiadis. The Greek foreign minister expressed the belief that the common stance shared by Greece and Cyprus on the major issues of national importance will be displayed in his visit to Cyprus, while Mr. Anastasiadis characterized as promising the coincidence of views between the governments of Greece and Cyprus.

    [15] SNOW IN NORTHERN GREECE

    Snow has covered many mountainous regions in northern Greece while rains and low temperatures characterize the weather in most of the country.

    The first snow of this winter fell in the city of Florina in north-western Greece and in the ski resort of Vermion as well as in the communities of Serres and Dramas. The cars move with difficulty in the provincial road linking the cities of Florina and Kastoria, while limited problems have been reported in the provincial road network in the prefectures of Dramas, Kozani and Grevena.

    [16] REPPAS: THE OIL PRICE INCREASE DOES NOT AFFECT GREECE'S ACCESSION INTO THE EMU

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated that no fiscal measures will be taken to deal with the problems caused by the oil price increase, adding that a final decision will be reached in the immediate future.

    However, he clarified that there will be no problems both regarding inflation and Greece's accession into the EMU because Greece will be judged based on the rest European countries' average which will also suffer consequences from the oil price increase.

    [17] LOSSES OF 2.72% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    The general price index in the Athens Stock Exchange suffered losses of 2.72% today and closed at 5.381,76, while the volume of transactions did not exceed the 311 billion drachmas.

    The effects of the continuing oil price increase on the course of inflation causes nervousness to investors who choose to liquidate their stocks.

    Furthermore, there is speculation that in the next few days it is possible that even the most pessimistic scenarios could come true according to which, the Athens Stock Exchange will return to very low levels of 5.000 - 5.100.

    [18] RECORD NUMBER OF NEW BOOK PUBLICATIONS IN GREECE

    An increase has been recorded in the number of books published in 1998 according to the special annual edition of the magazine "Ichneftis" which deals with books and statistics.

    The magazine mentions that 500 publishing houses in Greece published 5.914 new books last year compared to 2.870 in 1990. Of the 5.914 new book titles 428 are republications, while the rest 5.486 are first editions. Of the translated books over 50% are English, while 40% of the Greek books are novels and fiction.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [19] GREEK MILITARY CHIEF CONDUCTS OFFICIAL VISIT TO KOSOVO TODAY

    National Defense General Staff Chief Gen. Manousos Paragioudakis is embarking on an official, one-day visit to Kosovo today. Among others, Gen. Paragioudakis will be visiting the Greek battalion at Urosevac.

    [20] RUSSIANS TO DECLARE GUDERMES AS CHECHNYA'S NEW CAPITAL

    Gudermes, Chechnya's second largest city captured by Russian forces last November 12, is being groomed to become the pro-Russian capital of "liberated" areas of the Caucasus republic, the French news agency AFP reported.

    The town, located 30 kilometers east of the actual capital of Grozny and home to several tens of thousands, would "be ideal as the Chechen capital," Nikolai Koshman, representative of the Russian government in Chechnya, has repeatedly stated, since damage to the city is minimal.

    The decision to make Gudermes the Chechen capital has not been officially announced, while Grozny has been resisting Russian attacks for weeks.

    Last Saturday, gas supplies were restored during an official ceremony attended by Koshman.

    [21] EUROPEAN COMMISSION: GREECE'S ENTRY TO EMU IS CERTAIN

    The European Commission's approval of Greece's entry to the Economic and Monetary Union and the eurozone as of January 1, 2001, is certain, according to its report on the economic courses of the European Union's member-states.

    The report, published today, cites that Greece's inflation rate will plunge to 2.1%, although it points out the need to take measures on combating unemployment and further reducing public deficit, as well as increasing production and competitiveness and expediting the privatization process.

    [22] EU PRESIDENCY SETS FORTH FIVE TERMS FOR TURKEY'S CANDIDACY

    Finnish President Marti Ahtisaari, currently holding the European Union's rotating presidency, has given his Turkish counterpart Suleiman Demirel a letter outlining five terms for Turkey's candidacy to the EU, following the recently-held OSCE meeting in Ankara.

    According to the Turkish daily "Hurriyet", the five terms itemized in the letter are human rights, Turkey's adjustment to the EU's common foreign and social security policies, the coordination of the EU-provided overall economic aid, aligning state law with European Union law, and openness to the common plan for participation in the EU's other organizations.

    [23] US PRAISES FOR THE BULGARIAN SECRET SERVICES

    Deputy director of the US secret service Ralf Gonzales responsible for the region of Europe, Africa and Near East and the secret service coordinator for Bulgaria Vic Erevia characterized as excellent their cooperation with the National Guard Agency namely, the Bulgarian secret service.

    The two US secret service agents are still in Sofia in spite of the fact that the US president has left the country. Speaking to reporters, they said that Mr. Clinton's visit to Sofia was one of the best organized regarding the measures taken for his protection. Mr. Gonzales also expressed the view that the cooperation with Bulgaria in this sector, which he characterized as excellent, will continue.

    The US secret service agents also apologized for the problems the security measures in Sofia caused to its residents, clarifying that they were necessary because of the large degree of threat against the US president.

    [24] ROKOFILLOS-SOLANA MEETING IN BRUSSELS

    Greek deputy foreign minister Christos Rokofillos presented Greece's position regarding Turkey's European prospect in the meeting he had with Javier Solana responsible for EU's defense and foreign policy.

    Mr. Rokofillos pointed out that the interests of the new Europe make imperative the backing of the Greek stance in the Helsinki summit meeting. He also called for guarantees that will not allow the repetition of past misdeeds and will open the door for a new era of peace and cooperation between the Greek and Turkish people.

    [25] THE DAMAGE CAUSED TO THE PARTHENON MARBLES IS MUCH BIGGER THAN BELIEVED

    The damage caused to the Parthenon Marbles as a result of the cleaning process they underwent was much bigger than it was initially thought, according to the findings of the Greek culture ministry group of specialists who examined them.

    Based on the report, the damages caused by the cleaning process that took place in 1937-38 are immeasurable and irreversible, while it is also pointed out that because of it the Parthenon Marbles have lost their authenticity for ever as valuable historical information was removed from their surface.

    The excessive rubbing and smoothing caused in certain cases the partial alteration and distortion of the sculptures, which lost their morphological characteristics that constituted their identity and the criteria based on which they were placed among the artworks of their specific era.

    Meanwhile, British culture minister Chris Smith expressed the British government's intention not to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece responding to a question by a British parliamentarian.

    According to an article on the newspaper "The Independent", the British culture minister stated that he will oppose any effort aimed at the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.

    [26] NO PLAN FOR THE FOUNDING OF A EUROPEAN MUSEUM WAS SUBMITTED TO THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

    No plan was ever submitted to the European Commission for the founding of the European Museum and therefore, there is no issue of financing it. The only proposal submitted to the European Commission which was rejected was for the financing of the symposium that was held in Brussels on October 21-22 during which the founding of the European Museum was decided.

    The above were pointed out by EU Commissioner responsible for culture issues Viviane Reding responding to a question by Greek culture minister Elisavet Papazoi during the EU culture ministers meeting that was held recently in Brussels. She also stressed that neither herself nor anybody else of the ministers participating in the meeting would have ignored a European country or a part of the European culture.

    Ms. Papazoi speaking in the meeting underlined that the issue of the European Museum is very important to be left to the hands of any private institution. She stressed the Greek origin of the word Europe and underlined the significance of the common European identity which presupposes the search for all the elements that constitute the common European heritage today.

    [27] THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS VIOLATIONS ARE ON THE RISE WORLDWIDE

    The number of journalists killed, jailed and censored increased considerably in 1999 making the last year of the century one with many freedom of the press violations, according to the World Association of Newspapers.

    In its annual report on the developments concerning the freedom of the press around the world the Paris based organization points out that 47 journalists have been killed in 1999 compared to 28 in 1998, while 400 have been injured and 150 newspapers have been banned. The increase in the number of those killed is attributed to the wars in Yugoslavia and Sierra Leone.

    Of the 47 journalists who lost their lives, 12 were killed in Europe and 16 in Africa while of the 400 who were jailed only half of them have been released.

    In Europe, the 12 journalists were killed in Yugoslavia, Turkey, Ukraine, Britain and Cyprus, while the countries with the biggest freedom of the press violations are Belarus, Croatia, Yugoslavia and Turkey.

    Considerable freedom of the press violations have been recorded also in Africa and mainly in Nigeria and Ethiopia as well as Asia where 30 journalists were jailed and 7 were killed.

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