|Sunday, 11 April 2021|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-12-11
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
 PROBLEMS OF ETHICS IN JOURNALISM DURING THE WAR IN KOSOVO
Web Posted: 16:27 GMT+2Thessaloniki, 11.12.1999 (MPA) The problems of ethics in the reporting of news during the war in Kossovo and the fact that the journalists identified with their political parties or their countries having as a result "many different truths", was pointed out in the two-day inter-Balkan conference on "The prospects of the Inter-Balkan cooperation after Kossovo: The role of the mass media" organized by Macedonian Press Agency in Thessaloniki.
General director of the Skopje newspaper "Puls" Mice Tomovski stated that during the war in Kossovo there were many different truths, Greek, Serb, Albanian etc, stressing that the events were the same but the news were different, while he also referred to the role of the CNN and the BBC in the forming of news during the war in Kossovo.
Editor in the Athens newspaper "TA NEA" Kostas Betinakis spoke of a continuous NATO occupation of Greece and Turkey and underlined that the Balkan states rush to become NATO members at a time when the North Atlantic Alliance should be dissolved like the Warsaw Pact. He also referred to the efforts made for the breaking up of the Balkans and the creation of new nations, stressing that the "Muslim nation" appeared after the war in Bosnia.
Editor in the Turkish newspaper "Milliyet", Sahin Alpai stressed the need for objectivity and honesty while reporting the news, adding that journalists should not represent governments which not always serve the national interests.
The need for the journalists to be taught by history was stressed by deputy editor-in-chief of the Romanian newspaper "Ziua", Ioanna Andrea Rantus, who underlined that journalists should not overlook the fact that most Balkan states are in a transitional period stressing that the mass media in those countries do not have full independence.
"Thessaloniki" newspaper director Traianos Hatzidimitriou stated that the right moves must be made for the consolidation of peace, friendship and cooperation among the peoples. He said that very important toward this end is the creation of the Balkan Press Center and the Association of Balkan News Agencies.
International news director in the Athens newspaper "Apogevmatini" Haris Mavromatis stated that Kossovo is the balcony from where the West will attempt to oversee the enlarged Middle East.
Diplomatic editor in the Romanian newspaper "Romania Libera" Kristiana Terens pointed out that the war in Kossovo led to the reconstruction of the Balkans and underlined that the journalists must offer information on how it will materialize and in what way each country will participate in the procedure.
"Oslobodjenje" Serb newspaper editor-in-chief Slobodan Sazic stressed that the role of the mass media is not to hide behind half truths and referring to the situation in the Balkans said that the only way to solve the Gordian knot is the democratization of the countries in the region.
 JOURNALISTS HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO OFFER OBJECTIVE INFORMATION REGARDLESS OF THEIR NATIONALITY
Web Posted: 14:27 GMT+2Thessaloniki, 11/12/1999 (MPA) The journalists must do their duty offering objective information regardless of their nationality, stated Turkish television channel ATV war correspondent Serif Turgut and Yugoslav newspaper Danas executive Radomir Licina, speaking in the Inter-Balkan conference on "The prospects of Inter-Balkan cooperation after Kossovo: The role of the mass media" organized in Thessaloniki by Macedonian Press Agency.
Ms. Turgut referring to the experience she had in the war in Kossovo and stressed that the television station for which she was working was accused of being pro-Serb when she reported that the NATO bombs were killing civilians.
Mr. Licina pointed out that journalists must be objective and referring to the situation in his country he said that there were groups of journalists who refused to take part in the propaganda game in the war of Kossovo.
Greek State Television NET journalist and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki professor Anna Panagiotarea stated that the role of the mass media is to back the independence of the Balkan mass media and pluralism and also they have to reserve space for the international and Balkan news.
Sofia Voultepsi, representative of the Association of Newspaper Journalists of Athens and editor in the Athens newspaper "Eleftheros Tipos" attacked the so-called "alternative information", first seen on the US television channel CNN, which hides events from the public opinion, alters numbers based on the policies "the masters of the world" want to impose. She said that the alternative information had as a result for the Americans to lose the entire 1998 being occupied with Monica Lewinski's dress and were not allowed to learn where was Kossovo, which was being bombed by their leaders. She also said that the journalists can avert wars by awakening the public opinion in order to exert pressures on their governments.
General director of the Skopje newspaper VECER Goran Michailovski maintained that the Balkan journalists can cover with greater credibility the events in the region compared to the western journalists because they are biased, having simple history facts in their minds while they see things as being either black or white. He also stressed that reality is much more complex and depends on a number of different factors. He also referred to the Stability Pact and stated that Greece can become the bridge between the Balkan states and the European Union.
Bulgarian Journalists Association president Raina Dormisova referred to the information offered to the Bulgarian people by the mass media during the war in Kossovo. She said that 60-80% of the Bulgarians knew about the NATO operations and the crisis in Kossovo but they did not know the reasons of the conflict.
 SPEECHES AND INTERVENTIONS IN THE INTER-BALKAN CONFERENCE
Web Posted: 13:27 GMT+2Thessaloniki, 11/12/1999 (MPA) Albanian former minister of press and parliament deputy Musa Ulkini referred to the significant role the operation of an Inter-Balkan television network could play in the effort for the consolidation of peace and stability in south-eastern Europe.
Speaking in the Inter-Balkan conference on "The prospects of Inter-Balkan cooperation after Kossovo: The role of the mass media" which is organized by Macedonian Press Agency, Mr. Ulkini stated that the proposed television network will be created based on the "Euro News" model and already the proposal has been submitted by the Albanian government in the Sarajevo Summit meeting.
Greek State Radio, ERA, general director Yiannis Tzanetakos stated that the mass media lost their credibility in the war in Kossovo underlining that the Greek correspondents appeared pro-Serb, anti-American and anti-NATO giving one-sided information and limiting themselves to the information they received from the Yugoslav military press office while they reported censored news without mentioning the censorship.
The need to take lessons from history instead of intentionally closing our eyes to what is going on was pointed out by Turkish Channel D news general coordinator Haluk Sahin referring to the way the events in Kossovo were covered, while at the same time he said that he was happy to listen to the self-criticism of his Greek colleagues. He also referred to the rapprochement of the Greek and Turkish journalists, who opened a channel of communication after the recent earthquakes that hit both countries.
Dragan Kojadinovic general director of "Studio B" radio station, who was unable to attend the conference, mentions in a message he has sent to MPA's general director Spiros Kouzinopoulos that FRY government vice-president Voiclav Seseli and minister of information Aleksandar Vucic not only take the journalists to court but they threaten them personally.
"Flash" Athens radio station general director Panos Koliopanos stated that the crisis in Kossovo was a lesson for the people of the mass media pointing out that in certain cases reporting was mixed up with commentating.
Thessaloniki's Macedonia newspaper director Lazaros Hatzinakos stated that the regional development of the wider region will limit nationalism in the Balkans, adding that the press must promote every kind of cooperation, and condemn every kind of crime or phenomena that give to the Balkans an inhospitable picture.
 THE INTER-BALKAN CONFERENCE CONTINUES IN THESSALONIKI
Web Posted: 12:57 GMT+2Thessaloniki, 11/12/1999 (MPA) The two-day Inter-Balkan conference on "The prospects of Inter-Balkan cooperation after Kossovo: The role of the mass media" organized by Macedonian Press Agency continues in Thessaloniki.
Among the issues discussed are the role of the journalists' associations in the creation of a better climate in the Balkans, the development of new technologies and the creation of a new framework of cooperation among the mass media in south-eastern Europe for the improvement of the climate in the region.
 THE POLITICAL PARTIES OF THE OPPOSITION ON THE EU DECISION
Web Posted: 12:57 GMT+2Athens, 11/12/1999 (MPA) Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy appears cautious toward the acceptance of Turkey as an EU candidate state but at the same time recognizes that it is a positive development for Cyprus. It also mentions that in the Greek-Turkish relations a significant opportunity was lost to persuade Turkey to abandon its territorial claims on Greece.
Coalition of the Left stated that the development is positive in spite of the problems and there is no reason to prettify the situation as the problems in Cyprus and the Aegean remain open and time and effort will be needed for their solution.
The Communist Party spoke of a defeat in the Cyprus issue and of giving away new sovereign rights.
The Democratic Social Movement criticized the prime minister and the government for their unacceptable stance and called on the people to express their opposition peacefully.
The Liberal Party of Stefanos Manos expressed its absolute satisfaction over the stance of the government adding that national interest and reason prevailed.
 FRANJO TUDJMAN DIED EARLIER TODAY
Web Posted: 12:57 GMT+2Zagreb, 11/12/1999 (MPA) Croatia's president Franjo Tudjman died in the early morning hours today in the hospital where he was taken 6 weeks ago, according to the state television.
The problems with his health started in 1996 when he went to the United States in order to have a tumor removed from his stomach.
The death of the Croat president, who had been criticized repeatedly by the West for the authoritarian way in which he exercised power, opens the way for rapid political developments in the country.
 SIMITIS: TURKEY WANTS COOPERATION WITH GREECE
Web Posted: 17:27 GMT+2Helsinki, 11.12.1999 (MPA) Prime minister Kostas Simitis in a press conference he gave today in Helsinki stated that Turkish prime minister Bulent Ecevit attended the meeting of the EU member and candidate states and underlined that Greece welcomes Turkey's EU candidature, adding that this fact will contribute to the improvement of cooperation in the region
The prime minister expressed the hope that new relations will be formed between Greece and Turkey and between Turkey and the European Union, adding that we always seek friendship and cooperation.
Mr. Simitis responding to a question by MPA on whether he and Mr. Ecevit discussed issues concerning the Greek-Turkish relations after the warm handshake they had, he said that he met with Mr. Ecevit within the framework of his meetings with all the prime ministers of the EU candidate states. He also said that Mr. Ecevit expressed the wish for cooperation and both agreed that Turkey's EU candidature is a good step. Mr. Simitis also stated that Mr. Ecevit did not refer to any of the problems raised by Turkey.
Mr. Simitis said that the only difference Greece has with Turkey is the issue of the continental shelf adding that no relevant statements or decisions will be made now, while he also said that Cypriot president Glafkos Clerides believes that the Helsinki decision on the relations of Turkey with the European Union is "especially positive" and contributes to the continuation of the community talks in Cyprus limiting the capability of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to leave the talks at least at this point, because if he does that, stressed Mr. Simitis he will prove that he does not want to cooperate.
The prime minister also stated that Greece will participate in the European defense, adding that a specific framework has not been determined yet. In the European defense, stated Mr. Simitis, can participate the EU candidate states as well, which means that Turkey can participate too, adding that this country already is a member of the Western European Union and NATO.
Mr. Simitis said that Greece wants peace and cooperation in the region and if decisions are respected defense spending will be cut in Greece and therefore, spending will be increased in the sectors of development and social policies.
 GIORGOS PAPANDREOU: WE HAVE A LONG WAY AHEAD
Web Posted: 15:57 GMT+2Helsinki, 11.12.1999 (MPA) Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou characterized as historical the decision of the European Union to accept Turkey as an EU candidate state after having satisfied the terms that had been set by Greece. Mr. Papandreou said that this decision was reached after hard negotiations that lasted many months. He also said that Turkey is given the opportunity to show how much it wants to move toward Europe within a framework of values and rules that safeguard a climate of security, cooperation and peace in the Balkans.
Mr. Papandreou stated that significant opportunities are being offered for the improvement of bilateral relations and the solution of the Cyprus problem within the framework enacted by the EU decisions yesterday, adding that everything will depend on the will of the Turkish side. He said that the road ahead is long, adding that no immediate results are expected.
Mr. Papandreou, when asked by reporters to comment on the reactions to the EU decision expressed by Turkey concerning The Hague and the Greek-Turkish differences and also on the reactions by Nicosia regarding the part of the EU decision on Cyprus, he said that he is not aware of them and stressed that everybody have the right to express their views but the decisions are clear and are in effect.
When asked to comment on the effects the Helsinki conclusions will have in the talks on Cyprus, he said that they can only be positive because Cyprus' course to the EU has been secured, a fact that changes the situation of the past 25 years. He also expressed the hope that the Turkish Cypriots will decide to proceed to a meaningful negotiation for the fair solution of the Cyprus problem, adding that most favorable conditions have been created for the solution of the existing problems both inside Turkey and at an international level. However, he stressed that this should not be regarded as a guarantee but as an opportunity that must be exploited in a positive way.
 PAPANTONIOU: A NEW SITUATION IS BEING CREATED IN THE BALKANS
Web Posted: 15:27 GMT+2Helsinki, 11.12.1999 (MPA) Greek minister of national economy and finance Yiannos Papantoniou speaking to reporters in Helsinki stated that the EU decision on the form of the relations between the European Union and Turkey creates a new situation in the Balkans with auspicious prospects.
He said that the recognition of the Turkish candidature under conditions which favor Greece's demands creates a favorable climate and environment in the region of south-eastern Europe, adding that it also creates more positive prospects of cooperation and improves Greece's economic prospects.
Mr. Papantoniou also stated that the course to the EMU is being improved and Greece will join the Euro-zone countries in the first 6 months of 2000. Commenting on the effects the EU decision on Turkey's EU candidature had on the Greek stock market, he said that the Athens Stock Exchange reflects the positive dynamics of the Greek economy.
 SIMITIS AND THE EUROPEAN SECURITY
Web Posted: 13:27 GMT+2Helsinki, 11/12/1999 (MPA) An addition was made to paragraph 25A in the chapter on the Common Foreign Policy and the Policy of Defense of the European Union after a proposal by prime minister Kostas Simitis.
The addition mentions that the European Union will contribute to international peace and security in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter and that the European Union recognizes the principle responsibility of the UN Security Council for the preservation of international peace and security.
Meanwhile, US president Bill Clinton has sent a congratulatory letter to prime minister Kostas Simitis on the Helsinki EU Summit meeting decision and the stance of the Greek government.
 THE GOVERNMENT IS SATISFIED WITH THE EU DECISION
Web Posted: 12:57 GMT+2Helsinki, 11/12/1999 (MPA) The Greek government is satisfied with the European Council decision in Helsinki to declare Turkey as an EU candidate state by accepting all three Greek terms.
Turkish prime minister Bulent Ecevit after his meeting with Javier Solana, who visited Ankara yesterday, stated that there may be details that are hard to be digested but generally the acceptance of the Turkish candidature on equal terms is a big success for Turkey. The Turkish prime minister is expected to arrive in Helsinki at noon today together with Mr. Solana, who is responsible for issues of EU foreign policy and defense.
Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis characterized the decision of the "15" as historic and added that there is no likelihood for a change in the approved text. The prime minister stressed that the main achievement is the unhindered accession of Cyprus into the European Union without being necessary the earlier solution of the problem. He added that a European mechanism will be established to oversee if the candidate states meet the criteria set by the European Union.
Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou stated today that he feels a "great relief" after the European Council decision and the adoption of the Greek positions, while in a statement he made yesterday he spoke of a historical opportunity.
Complete archives of the Macedonian Press Agency bulletins are available on the MPA Home Page at http://www.mpa.gr/ and on the U.S. mirror at http://www.hri.org/MPA/