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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-11-25

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 25, 1999

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] VOCAL DEBATE ERUPTS IN PARLIAMENT OVER TRANSPARENCY ISSUE
  • [02] NATO SECRETARY GENERAL ROBERTSON IN ATHENS ON MONDAY
  • [03] SAE TO HOLD THIRD CONFERENCE AT THESSALONIKI IN DECEMBER
  • [04] GREECE WINS SILVER, BRONZE AT WEIGHTLIFTING CHAMPIONSHIPS
  • [05] GREECE, FYROM, MALTA, CYPRUS, ALBANIA SIGN AIR TRAFFIC ACCORD
  • [06] GREEK, BRITISH NATO NAVAL EXERCISE PRESENTLY UNDERWAY
  • [07] PM LASHES OUT AT MAIN OPPOSITION PARTY'S SCANDAL MONGERING
  • [08] THE STATE OF THE GREEK ECONOMY IS POSITIVE
  • [09] GAINS OF 0.68% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [10] THE GREEK GOVERNMENT IS OPPOSED TO TURKEY'S DECISION ON OCALAN
  • [11] THE GREEK DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER IS ON A TOUR OF EUROPE
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [12] EUROPEAN COMMISSION: GREECE'S ENTRY TO EMU IS CERTAIN
  • [13] TURKEY UPHOLDS DEATH SENTENCE ON OCALAN
  • [14] FOREIGN MINISTER PAPANDREOU TRAVELS TO CYPRUS TODAY
  • [15] EUROPEAN COMMISSION AND MEXICO AGREE TO A FREE TRADE ZONE
  • [16] SOUTH-EASTERN EUROPE EDUCATION MINISTERS' CONFERENCE IN STRASBOURG
  • [17] AGREEMENT BETWEEN FYROM AND GREECE ON THE SAFETY OF FLIGHTS
  • [18] CONGRATULATORY LETTER BY KARAMANLIS TO THE ALBANIAN PRIME MINISTER
  • [19] OCALAN'S LAWYERS APPEAL TO THE EUROPEAN COURT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
  • [20] THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER MET WITH HIS CYPRIOT COUNTERPART - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] VOCAL DEBATE ERUPTS IN PARLIAMENT OVER TRANSPARENCY ISSUE

    A vocal debate erupted in parliament last night between the ruling PASOK party and the main opposition New Democracy, over the issue of transparency in the public sector.

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis accused ND of hurling unfounded accusations at the government and obstructing the country's course. New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis accused the government of unprecedented corruption. Similar tones were adopted by the Communist Party of Greece's secretary general Aleka Papariga, the leader of the Coalition of the Left and Progress Nikos Constantopoulos and the president of the Democratic and Social Movement Dimitris Tsovolas.

    [02] NATO SECRETARY GENERAL ROBERTSON IN ATHENS ON MONDAY

    NATO Secretary General George Robertson will arrive in Athens on November 29 for talks with Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

    On Thursday, the president of the European Union, Finnish Prime MInister Paavo Liponnen will be in Athens for talks.

    [03] 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.

    [04] GREECE WINS SILVER, BRONZE AT WEIGHTLIFTING CHAMPIONSHIPS

    Greece's George Tzelilis and Valerios Leonidis won the silver and bronze medals, respectively, by lifting 155 kg and 152.5 kg, at the world weightlifting championships yesterday in Piraeus.

    Bulgaria's Galabin Boevski twice broke the world record for the snatch in the men's 69kg category, by lifting 160.5 in the second attempt and 162.5 kg in the third.

    [05] GREECE, FYROM, MALTA, CYPRUS, ALBANIA SIGN AIR TRAFFIC ACCORD

    Civil aviation representatives from Greece, Albania, Cyprus, Malta and FYROM signed an initial agreement in Athens yesterday concerning the exchange of radar data aimed at the harmonization of air traffic systems in Europe.

    The initial agreement comes under the aegis of Eurocontrol and will pave the way for the signing of bilateral agreements between the countries in the region.

    [06] GREEK, BRITISH NATO NAVAL EXERCISE PRESENTLY UNDERWAY

    A joint Greek and British NATO naval exercise is presently underway at southwestern Peloponnese.

    The exercise, code-named "Argonaut '99", was was postponed for a day due to adverse weather conditions and Greek and British warships re4mained anchored for one day waiting for weather clearance. A military spokesman said the manoeuvre was part of programmed NATO exercises.

    [07] PM LASHES OUT AT MAIN OPPOSITION PARTY'S SCANDAL MONGERING

    In his parliamentary address last night, Prime Minster Costas Simitis Mr. lashed out at the main opposition party of New Democracy for its "scandal-mongering" tactics.

    Mr. Simitis referred to the government's efforts to establish transparency, such as the establishment of an independent body that will control the economic activities of political figures at the Athens Stock Exchange.

    Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis accused the government of phenomena of "decomposition and corruption," adding that while PASOK had been in power for 20 years, Mr. Simitis was just now declaring that he was studying and adopting measures.

    Referring to public projects, he said the Athens metro should have been ready in 1997, the Egnatia motorway across northern Greece will be ready in 2004 instead of 2000, and most other projects are also facing delays as money is being wasted.

    [08] THE STATE OF THE GREEK ECONOMY IS POSITIVE

    The European Commission has a positive picture of the state of the Greek economy in spite of the fact that the final decisions on Greece's accession into the Euro-zone will not be reached before June.

    Meanwhile, the efforts of the Greek government to put the inflationary pressures under control appear to be on the right path based on the statements made by European Commissioner responsible for the economic and monetary affairs representative Gerasimos Thomas.

    The statements by Mr. Thomas came a few hours after the European Commission report on the course of the economy in its member-states became public. The report praises Greece and underlines that the country will join the EMU on January 1, 2001 if the state of its economy continues to improve.

    [09] GAINS OF 0.68% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    The Athens Stock Exchange general price index finally closed with gains of 0.68% at 5.418,6 in today's session, while the volume of transactions was under 252 billion drachmas.

    The nervousness in the Athens Stock Exchange is attributed to the fact that investors fear of an inflation rise, while they are also concerned about the continuous increases in the share capital.

    [10] THE GREEK GOVERNMENT IS OPPOSED TO TURKEY'S DECISION ON OCALAN

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas expressed the opposition of the Greek government to Turkey's decision to uphold the death penalty that was imposed on Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan.

    Mr. Reppas stated that human rights must be respected in every country even in Turkey and expressed the hope that the specific decision will not be implemented.

    [11] THE GREEK DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER IS ON A TOUR OF EUROPE

    Greece's positions, in view of the Helsinki EU Summit meeting where the issue of Turkey's European prospect will be examined, are being presented to European officials by deputy foreign minister Christos Rokofillos who is on a tour of European countries.

    In the meeting Mr. Rokofillos had in Copenhagen with Danish foreign minister Neals Petersen he underlined the need for a solution to the Cyprus problem. From his side, Mr. Petersen stressed that Ankara must make steps toward the improvement of the Greek-Turkish relations.

    Mr. Rokofillos also met in Vienna with his Austrian counterpart and tomorrow he will be in Rome to meet with the Italian undersecretary of foreign affairs.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [12] 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 yesterday, 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.

    [13] TURKEY UPHOLDS DEATH SENTENCE ON OCALAN

    Turkey's appeals court upheld today the death sentence imposed on Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan on treason and separatism charges.

    The presiding judge said the unanimous sentence was "in conformity with procedures and law." Mr. Ocalan, who was not present at the hearing which lasted five minutes, was sentenced to death on June 29.

    The appeals court ruling must now be ratified by the Turkish parliament and Turkish President Suleyman Demirel before Mr. Ocalan's execution can go ahead. The ruling was expected to put pressure on Turkey just a little more than two weeks ahead of a European Union summit in Helsinki on December 10-11, which will also discuss Ankara's decades long bid to become an EU member. European countries have urged Ankara to spare Ocalan's life, hinting that his execution could harm Turkey's chances of joining the EU.

    Although the death sentence exists in Turkey, there have been no judicial executions since 1984. A total of 47 people are currently on death row in various Turkish prisons.

    [14] FOREIGN MINISTER PAPANDREOU TRAVELS TO CYPRUS TODAY

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou is to visit Cyprus today, where he will hold talks on the forthcoming European Union summit in Helsinki and developments on the Cyprus issue.

    Mr. Papandreou is to meet with President Glafcos Clerides and his Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides.

    [15] EUROPEAN COMMISSION AND MEXICO AGREE TO A FREE TRADE ZONE

    The European Commission and Mexico have agreed to creating a free trade zone, "a historic step allowing for a new relationship between the EU and Mexico," as Mexican Trade Minister Herminio Blanco stated.

    European Commission trade commissioner Pascal Lamy said he would not reveal the "secret" content of the accord until it was approved by the 15 members of the European Union.

    The accord, which also must be ratified by the Mexican parliament, was reached after a recent two-week negotiation period focused on rules of origin, industrial products and public markets.

    Negotiations between Mexico and the EU began one year ago. The two sides decided to exclude from the agreement 15 percent of Mexican agricultural exports considered sensitive by the EU, including meat, grains and dairy products.

    Mexico proposed to open its market to European industrial goods in 2007, saying 47 percent of its market would be liberalized immediately, with its market opening to continue gradually until the 2007 deadline.

    Trade between the EU and Mexico is estimated to total four billion dollars.

    [16] SOUTH-EASTERN EUROPE EDUCATION MINISTERS' CONFERENCE IN STRASBOURG

    The conference of south-eastern Europe education ministers will be held on December 2 and 3 in Strasbourg at the initiative of the Council of Europe. In the meeting have been invited to participate the ministers of education from Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Slovenia, FYROM, Turkey, Austria and Hungary.

    The ministers participating in the conference will have the opportunity to call on the international community for the implementation of an education policy within the framework of the Stability Pact that will be a response to the needs of the countries in the region.

    [17] AGREEMENT BETWEEN FYROM AND GREECE ON THE SAFETY OF FLIGHTS

    Agreement on the exchange of information gathered by the civil aviation radar systems is expected to be signed by Greece and FYROM.

    According to the Skopje newspaper "Nova Makedonia", it is an agreement implemented by most European countries aimed at bringing the safety of flights to the levels set by the European Civil Aviation Air Traffic Control Agency Eurocontrol.

    FYROM has signed similar agreements with Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Albania, which however, can not be implemented due to the absence of the necessary equipment.

    [18] CONGRATULATORY LETTER BY KARAMANLIS TO THE ALBANIAN PRIME MINISTER

    Greece's ambassador to Tirana Alexandros Mallias delivered Greek right-wing New Democracy party leader Kostas Karamanlis' congratulatory letter to new Albanian prime minister Ilir Meta.

    In his letter, Mr. Karamanlis expresses the wish for closer and more constructive cooperation between the two countries for the good of peace, security and stability in the region as well as for the prosperity of both peoples.

    In statements he made, the Albanian prime minister stressed that his country gives a special importance to the relations with Greece and their further improvement.

    [19] OCALAN'S LAWYERS APPEAL TO THE EUROPEAN COURT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

    The lawyers of Kurdish PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan appealed to the European Court for Human Rights asking that the death penalty imposed on their client and upheld today by the Turkish courts should not be executed.

    The death penalty had been imposed by Ankara's State Security Court and the fact that it was upheld today by the court of appeals is regarded as a first step in the procedure for its execution. The death penalty must also be upheld by the Turkish parliament and signed by the Turkish president, who has the right to bring the case to parliament.

    All the death penalties imposed since 1984 are still pending in the parliament justice committee which has not forwarded any of them for ratification.

    Meanwhile, according to a statement by Ocalan that was made public by the National Liberation Front of Kurdistan (ERNK), he will face death calmly like Socrates, the ancient Greek philosopher.

    [20] THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER MET WITH HIS CYPRIOT COUNTERPART

    Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou met in Nicosia this afternoon with his Cypriot counterpart Yiannakis Kasoulides.

    The two ministers spoke of the common course shared by Greece and Cyprus in view of the Helsinki EU Summit meeting and the proximity talks between Cypriot president Glafkos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

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