|Saturday, 17 April 2021|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-12-05
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
Last Update: 23:27 GMT+2
NEWS IN DETAIL
 DEFENSE MINISTER: SAE CAN UNITE ALL GREEKS HERE AND ABROAD
Web Posted: 15:37 GMT+2Thessaloniki, 05/12/1999 (MPA) Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos saluted the proceedings of the World Council of Hellenes (SAE) Third International Assembly, which got underway in Thessaloniki today, with 700 Greeks from all five continents attending.
The minister stated that he was impressed with the various thematic forums held within the framework of the Assembly and stated that there is a warranty for essential links between Greeks living abroad and their motherland, which will facilitate the promotion of Greece's national interests.
 SAE PRESIDENT ANDREW ATHENS OUTLINES COUNCIL'S ROLE
Web Posted: 15:37 GMT+2Thessaloniki, 05/12/1999 (MPA) Andrew Athens, the President of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE), outlined the organization's role aboard and its efforts to forge closer ties with Greece during his address today before the delegates attending the Third International Assembly.
Mr. Athens stressed the importance of grounding friendship and unity among all of the Diaspora's members, since, as he stated, that is the only way to achieve significant results, especially in national and religious matters.
SAE will establish 21 medical clinics which will provide free health services in six republics of the former Soviet Union.
The Georgia and Ukraine clinics provide services to large ethnic Greek communities, where medical aid provided by SAE already amounts to approximately 23 millions dollars.
The SAE President has proposed establishment of a Hellenic Peace Corps, by SAE's youth groups, which would help Greeks in need all over the world, especially in the former Soviet bloc countries.
Mr. Athens is also a fervent supporter of a strengthened political lobby.
"That's one of the biggest developments that we want for the incoming SAE presidium," he stated. "Worldwide political strength. This will assist in the development of economic and cultural opportunities."
SAE speaks for seven million Greeks represented by 3,700 associations worldwide. There are 320 SAE members who belong to one of three types of associations: Federal (eg AHEPA); regional (representing a certain region of Greece, eg the Pan-Macedonian Association of the USA); or strategic (eg the American Hellenic Institute of Washington). The Greek government registers these groups and the number of representative delegates depends on the size of the Greek community. These members, in turn, elect a nine- person voluntary presidium which includes a president, an alternate president, four regional presidents (North and South America, Europe, Oceania and Africa-Asia), and three secretaries. The presidium cooperates with the interparliamentary committee for the Hellenic Diaspora (composed of 30 members from all parties), and cooperates with the Greek government service, the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad.
 CULTURE MINISTER ADDRESS SAE'S THIRD ASSEMBLY IN THESSALONIKI
Web Posted: 15:27 GMT+2Thessaloniki, 05/12/1999 (MPA) Minister of Culture Elisabeth Papazoi urged all distinguished Greeks here and abroad to participate in the Greek state's efforts to spread Greece's timeless culture (ancient, Byzantine and modern) around the world, in her address during the Third International Assembly of the World Council of Hellenes (SAE) in Thessaloniki today.
Ms. Papazoi focused on the Parthenon Marbles issue and called on expatriated Greeks to promote Greece's position in their host countries, by creating a movement in favor of the sculptures' return to their homeland.
Moreover, the Culture Minister stressed that Greece's comparative advantage is its culture and stated that the State plans to intensify cultural ventures with Greek communities abroad.
 GREEK PARLIAMENTARIANS OF THE DIASPORA COORDINATE EFFORTS
Web Posted: 14:53 GMT+2Thessaloniki, 05/12/1999 (MPA) The proceedings of the 3rd Inter- Parliamentary Union started in Thessaloniki today with the participation of about 80 parliament deputies of Greek descent from around the world.
World Inter-Parliamentary Union president Nikos Papadopoulos, who is a Swedish parliament deputy told the MPA that the basic goal of the Union's members is to establish parliamentary unions of Greek friendship and culture in state parliaments throughout the world.
He said that the first step has already been made toward this direction with the establishment of a parliamentary group in Sweden with 128 members and Lithuania with 21 members, while three other similar parliamentary groups are presently in the works in Britain, France and Germany and are expected to be established by June 2000.
According to Mr. Papadopoulos, one of the main priorities of the World Inter-Parliamentary Union is the promotion of the Olympic Games ideal and the adoption of the Olympic Games Truce through the establishment of the Central World Committee of Truce in Greece based in ancient Olympia.
 SAE'S CULTURE FORUM ELECTS WORLD COORDINATING COMMITTEE
Web Posted: 14:53 GMT+2Thessaloniki, 05/12/1999 (MPA) The First world-wide forum of Greeks distinguished at home and abroad in the field of culture closed in Thessaloniki yesterday evening with the election of an 11-member coordinating body, featuring officials from every corner of the world.
University of Europe president Eleni Glykatzi-Arhweiler stated that Greek culture has a unique character and remains relevant. Mezzo-soprano Vasso Papantoniou stated that while Greeks may live in Greece, Greece itself lives in those Greeks not residing in the homeland, adding that culture could create a chain to bring Greeks living abroad closer to Greece.
Film director Costa Gavras stated that he left Greece for economic reasons, stressing that in France he found what his homeland could not give him.
Author and Greek ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Vassilis Vassilikos stated that Greece's only exportable product is its culture, and referred to the many Greeks who are celebrated abroad.
 GREECE ENTERS SCHENGEN PACT AS OF JANUARY 1, 2000
Web Posted: 14:53 GMT+2Athens, 05/12/1999 (MPA) Greece meets all necessary Schengen Pact criteria for its full integration into this European Union system, which allows for the unrestricted travel of E.U. citizens to all signatory member- States.
According to a decision of a Schengen - Norway - Iceland Joint Committee of Permanent Representatives, Greece will join the Pact on January 1, 2000, although several secondary airports in Greece's provinces will not be included in the initial phase, they will, however, be integrated by March 2000.
The decision was officially approved during a meeting of the same Committee at Ministerial level on December 2-3 in Brussels.
Concerning this decision, the Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Christos Rokofyllos, stated that "It is a new and important upgrading of our country within Europe. The unification of Greek territory with the rest of the Schengen territory will complete our country's inclusion into a democratic region of guaranteed security."
 DEVELOPMENT MINISTER: TURKEY'S PATH TO EU IS THROUGH GREECE
Web Posted: 14:27 GMT+2Thessaloniki, 05/12/1999 (MPA) The most essential political prerequisite for recognizing Turkey's bid for accession to the European Union is the complete and clear assurance of Cyprus' accession to the EU, without requiring a resolution to the Cypriot issue, according to the Minster of Development Evangelos Venizelos.
"It is obvious that if Turkey wishes to enter the EY it has to respect Europe's legal culture. This means that (it has to respect) democratic principles, human rights, the resolutions issued by the European Council and the International Court of Justice at The Hague," Mr. Venizelos stated.
He further added that there has to be an open dialogue so as to not burden Greece with the accusation of intransigence.
"What matters is that the international community, the United States and the EU understand who bears the burden of responsibility, he stated, adding that the burden falls onto the EU's other 14 states, and definitely onto Turkey which need to understand that its path into the Community passes through Greece.
 THESSALONIKI CHAMBER OF COMMERCE-INDUSTRY TWINS WITH BURSA'S
Web Posted: 14:27 GMT+2Thessaloniki, 05/12/1999 (MPA) Thessaloniki's Chamber of Commerce and Industry is to be twinned with its equivalent in Bursa, Turkey, in a ceremony to be held in the northern capital tomorrow.
Among the officials invited to attend are Macedonia-Thrace Minister Yiannis Magriotis and the Turkish ambassador in Athens, Ali Tinaz Tuygan, while forty officials from the Bursa Chamber of Comm erce and Industry will travel to Thessaloniki for the ceremony.
 THESSALONIKI TO GRANDLY CELEBRATE END OF THE MILLENNIUM
Web Posted: 14:27 GMT+2Thessaloniki, 05/12/1999 (MPA) Thessaloniki plans to grandly celebrate the end of the millennium and the beginning of the new one, with a series of events that will include music, dancing, and theatrical shows, while the city's port will play host to a 6,500m2 exhibition and design space geared toward the younger generation.
Also, the city's new concert hall is scheduled for inauguration on January 2.
The culture ministry plans a year of events, including celebrations to mark 10,000 years of Hellenic civilization, 5,000 years of urban living, 3,000 years of the Greek alphabet - entitled "From 'Word' to Software" - and "2, 000 years of Christianity".
The Autocephalus Orthodox Church of Greece will work closely with the culture ministry in planning for the series of events that will comprise the "2000 Years of Christianity" subject, which will also include participating in "Bethlehem 2000" events at the Jerusalem Patriarchate.
 CULTURE MINISTRY DEDICATES YEAR 2000 TO GREEK POET SEFERIS
Web Posted: 14:27 GMT+2Athens, 05/12/1999 (MPA) The Culture Ministry will dedicate the year 2000 to Greece's renowned poet Giorgios Seferis, 1963 Nobel Laureate in Literature, marking the centennial anniversary since his birth in Smyrna.
A series of events will be held throughout the year, starting with Cyprus which will host a seminar on Seferis.
A vast selection of photographs, manuscripts and personal items will be on display in Athens in an exhibition that will travel throughout the cities associated with the life of the man who is regarded by many as the greatest Greek poet of the 20th century.
 MPA TO HOST INTER-BALKAN CONFERENCE ON REGIONAL PEACE
Web Posted: 14:27 GMT+2Thessaloniki, 05/12/1999 (MPA) The Macedonian Press Agency is to host a journalism conference, titled "the Prospect of Inter-Balkan cooperation after Kosovo: the Role of the Media", which will be attended by senior journalists from 60 of the Balkan region's largest media organizations.
The event, to be held in Thessaloniki on December 10-11, will feature the participation of leading journalists from Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia- Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, FYROM, Moldova, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey and Yugoslavia, as well as directors and chief editors from Greece's largest media.
The strife-torn region of Kosovo will also be represented at the conference; the publisher of the "Koha Ditore" daily Beton Suroi will attend, as well as the director of the "Rilidia" daily Plerim Reka, the journalist- historian Skelcem Ratsa, and others.
Moreover, the event will feature the participation of officials from the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as FYROM's alternate Minister of Press and Information Dragi Arsov and Albania's Minister of Press Musa Oulkini.
The conference is taking place under the auspices of the Ministries of Press and Mass Media, Development, and Macedonia-Thrace, as well as with the assistance of the Thessaloniki Trade and Industry Chamber and the Northern Greece's Journalists Association.
 FIERCE DEBATE ERUPTS BETWEEN PREMIER, MAIN OPPOSITION LEADER
Web Posted: 14:27 GMT+2Athens, 05/12/1999 (MPA) A vocal debate has erupted once again between the ruling PASOK party and the main opposition of New Democracy, over the issue of transparency in the public sector.
Prime Minister Costas Simitis accused ND of constantly shifting its positions, hurling unfounded accusations at the government and obstructing the country's course. New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis accused the government of unprecedented corruption and vowed that his party will press on with its transparency crusade.
 SAE'S THIRD INTERNATIONAL ASSEMBLY STARTS IN THESSALONIKI
Web Posted: 14:27 GMT+2Thessaloniki, 05/12/1999 (MPA) The proceedings of the World Council of Hellenes (SAE) Third International Assembly got underway in Thessaloniki today, with 700 Greeks from all five continents attending the proceedings.
Following a speech delivered by SAE president Andrew Athens, today's agenda featured addresses by government ministers and presentations by delegates, as well as discussions held on significant issues such as education, culture, economy, and cooperation between Greece's administration and Greek communities abroad, repatriated and Black Sea Greeks.
The assembly will be officially inaugurated tomorrow by the President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos, while Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Speaker of the House Apostolos Kaklamanis will address the delegates. Salutations will also be addressed by the leader of the main opposition party of New Democracy, Costas Karamanlis, the secretary-general of the Communist Party of Greece Aleka Paparega and minor opposition party leaders.
The SAE's 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.
 GREEK, DUTCH TELECOMMUNICATIONS TO BUY BTK BY END OF MONTH
Web Posted: 14:27 GMT+2Sofia, 05/12/1999 (MPA) The Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) and KPN of the Netherlands are expected to complete their joint purchase of 51% of Bulgaria's state BTK telecommunications by the end of this year.
In a joint news conference held in Sofia, officials of OTE and KPN said that the two firms would invest two hundred million US dollars to modernize BTK and develop a second mobile phone network for the Balkan country in the next three years.
OTE and KPN said that they were ready to pay the purchase price for the company immediately, and wanted to start work on January 1, 2000.
 FYROM HOLDS PRESIDENTIAL RE-VOTE TODAY
Web Posted: 14:27 GMT+2Skopje, 05/12/1999 (MPA) Polling stations opened today in parts of FYROM in a re-vote called because of allegations of ballot-rigging in the presidential election last month.
The country's Supreme Court on November 27 annulled 10 percent of the votes, following charges of fraud made by the losing candidate Tito Petkovski, of the reformed communist party.
The front-running candidate, Boris Trajkovski of the center-right ruling coalition, said he was sure his election would be confirmed. He took 52.85 percent of the vote on November 14.
The interior ministry said that extra security measures had been taken to guard against violence near the 230 polling stations, located mainly in western, Albanian-dominated parts of the country.
 CYPRUS PROXIMITY TALKS UNDERWAY IN NEW YORK
Web Posted: 14:27 GMT+2United Nations, 05/12/1999 (MPA) The President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafcos Clerides and the leader of the Turkish -Cypriots Rauf Denktash are presently conducting proximity talks at the United Nations headquarters, with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan chairing the initial rounds.
Prior to the talks, President Clerides stated that he and his delegation arrived at the UN headquarters with a sense of good will and with the aim to take advantage of the international community's interest in resolving the Cyprus issue.
UN officials have said there will be a news blackout during the talks, which are scheduled to last for between 10 and 12 days.
The UN Security Council has called on both sides "give their full support" to comprehensive negotiations on the future of the island.
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