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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-04-21

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, April 21, 2000

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] PANATHINAIKOS BEATS MACCABI IN EUROLEAGUE FINAL
  • [02] PRESIDENT OF CHINA ARRIVES IN GREECE TODAY
  • [03] BALKAN PROFESSORS MEET IN THESSALONIKI TODAY
  • [04] STATE MARKS TODAY'S 33RD ANNIVERSARY OF '67 COUP
  • [05] CULTURE MINISTRY RESPONDS TO IOC PRESIDENT
  • [06] PRESIDENT RECEIVES TURKISH BUSINESS DELEGATION
  • [07] PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT TO BE ELECTED TODAY
  • [08] THESSALONIKI PREFECT RECEIVES SAE PRESIDENT
  • [09] GREEKS HOLD LION'S SHARE IN MANY FYROM FIRMS
  • [10] PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT TO BE ELECTED TODAY
  • [11] KAKLAMANIS RE-ELECTED PRESIDENT OF PARLIAMENT
  • [12] FIRST GREEKS AND THEN EUROPEANS
  • [13] THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE HAD GAINS OF 1.88%
  • [14] ISMIR CHAMBER OF COMMERCE DELEGATION IN THESSALONIKI
  • [15] REPRESENTATIVES OF THE SERB OPPOSITION MEET IN ATHENS
  • [16] REPPAS COMMENTED ON THE 2004 OLYMPIC GAMES
  • [17] GREECE IS ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS COUNTRIES FOR CAR DRIVERS
  • [18] ONE THOUSAND BABIES DIE EACH YEAR IN GREECE
  • [19] THE GOVERNMENT CONDEMNS THE DEMONSTRATIONS DURING A GREEK- TURKISH EVENT
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [20] ROMANIA TO HOST FORTH BSEC MEETING NEXT WEEK
  • [21] CONCERT BY GREEK SINGER VASILIS KARRAS IN GIROKASTRA
  • [22] THE US WAS PLANNING TO HACK INTO THE BANKING SYSTEMS OF GREECE, RUSSIA AND CYPRUS DURING THE WAR IN KOSOVO
  • [23] THE AGREEMENT ON THE GOTSE DELTSEV-DRAMAS BORDER CROSSING WAS SIGNED IN SOFIA
  • [24] RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE ORTHODOX AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] PANATHINAIKOS BEATS MACCABI IN EUROLEAGUE FINAL

    Panathinaikos Athens night won the Euroleague basketball trophy for the second time in its history last night by beating Maccabi Tel Aviv 73-67.

    Earlier, Turkey's Efes Pilsen prevailed over Spain's Barcelona in the final four's third place playoff with 75-69.

    [02] PRESIDENT OF CHINA ARRIVES IN GREECE TODAY

    The President of the People's Republic of China Jiang Zemin is arriving in Greece today for a four-day visit at the invitation of the President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos.

    Following his arrival and reception by President Stephanopoulos, Mr. Zemin is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, who will also hold a dinner in honor of the Chinese leader tomorrow evening.

    The Chinese President will also meet with the leader of the main opposition party New Democracy's Costas Karamanlis ad will visit the Hellenic Parliament, the Acropolis and the Panathinaiko Stadium.

    On Sunday Mr. Zemin will travel to Heraklion, Crete, where he will visit the city's archaeological museum and Knossos. He will depart for South Africa on Monday morning.

    [03] BALKAN PROFESSORS MEET IN THESSALONIKI TODAY

    University professors from Greece and other Balkan countries are to meet in Thessaloniki today, within the framework of the first regular General Assembly of the Balkan Association of Pedagogics and Education (VEPE).

    Presiding over VEPE is the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki's literature professor Nikos Terzis, while the Board of Directors comprises professors from Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, FYROM, Romania, Serbia and Turkey.

    The General Assembly will elect its new Board of Directors, while the Greek-Turkish committee will review matters pertaining to the pedagogical conference to be held at Istanbul in September.

    [04] STATE MARKS TODAY'S 33RD ANNIVERSARY OF '67 COUP

    Greece today memorializes the 33rd anniversary of a military coup d' etat in which a group of colonels seized power and imposed a seven-year dictatorship on the country.

    The ruling PASOK party marked with messages linking the past with the present.

    "Today, democratic institutions operate and individual rights and freedoms are respected and there is no turning back, " Prime Minister Costas Simitis stated.

    The PASOK leader also added that he finds it "especially hopeful" that the people have once again entrusted the country's course with PASOK, "the great progressive party" which has the will "to strengthen social cohesion by embarking on social and political dialogue with all of society's forces."

    The main opposition New Democracy party's spokesperson Aris Spiliotopoulos hailed Greece's progress in overcoming the legacy of the dictatorship and stressed that ND works for "the abolition of dividing lines, the establishment of a quality democracy and the safeguarding of the democratic institution."

    The conspiring colonels moved in the early hours of Friday, April 21, 1967, meeting with virtually no resistance and catching then-reigning King Constantine, politicians throughout the ideological spectrum, and the highest ranks of the armed forces off guard.

    The coup was based on a NATO contingency plan which was intended to be implemented in the event of a domestic Communist uprising.

    [05] CULTURE MINISTRY RESPONDS TO IOC PRESIDENT

    Responding to stinging criticism from the President of the International Olympic Committee Juan Antonio Samaranch, who stated yesterday that the Athens 2004 summer games would be in "danger" unless the Greek organizers made "drastic" changes by the end of the year, the country's Culture Ministry released a press statement stressing that it has taken Mr. Samaranch's observations under consideration.

    Moreover, the Culture Ministry stated that in order to enter the "final race" for the successful organization of the Games, it will require the input of all the national forces.

    The IOC president qualified his statement later by stating that "I cannot imagine the games will not be held in Athens."

    [06] PRESIDENT RECEIVES TURKISH BUSINESS DELEGATION

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopopoulos received a Turkish delegation comprising businessmen and mayors who are attending the Greek-Turkish trade fair and business forum held in Athens.

    President Stephanopoulos characterized their presence in Greece as an indication of the good ties enjoyed by the two neighbors and underlined that the Greek people are interested in the Turkish economy's development.

    More than 80 Turkish exhibitors are taking part in a four- day, trade exhibition of Turkish products in Athens, while a forum for Greek-Turkish business cooperation is running concurrently.

    Among those taking part in the exhibition are the Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO) and the Turkish Contractors Union. In addition, members of a 210-strong business delegation will hold talks with Greek representatives on cooperation in tourism.

    The trade fair included a joint fashion show by designers Mihalis Aslanis from Greece and Turkey's Cemil Ipekci. A similar trade fair of Greek products is scheduled to take place in Istanbul in April 2001.

    [07] PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT TO BE ELECTED TODAY

    Greece's 300-member parliament, which was sworn-in yesterday, is to elect its president and five deputies today, with incumbent Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis expected to be re-elected for a third consecutive term as the ruling PASOK party has proposed him for the post.

    In addition to the speaker of the House, PASOK will also elect three of his five deputies, while the main opposition party of New Democracy will elect the fourth deputy and the Communist Party (KKE) the fifth.

    Tomorrow, Premier and PASOK leader Costas Simitis will outline his government's program before the parliament, kicking off a three-day debate which will culminate at midnight on Monday in a vote of confidence.

    The parliament will adjourn after Mr. Simitis' speech and reconvene on Sunday afternoon and Monday to debate the government's program.

    The prime minister will then make his closing remarks late on Monday night, before a roll call of the 300 deputies where they will vote on their confidence in the new government.

    [08] THESSALONIKI PREFECT RECEIVES SAE PRESIDENT

    The Prefect of Thessaloniki Costas Papadopoulos received the President of the Council of Greeks Abroad (SAE) Andrew Athens yesterday, with whom he discussed SAE's activities for Greek- descent persons who lived in the former Soviet Union.

    Mr. Papadopoulos informed Mr. Athens that he will head the Joint Committee of the Center for the Study and Development of Greek Culture in the Black Sea, thereby expressing the Center's will for continued cooperation with SAE.

    "The Prefectural Local Administration of Thessaloniki will continue to support and cooperate with SAE, so that Thessaloniki will be established as the capital of expatriate Greeks."

    [09] GREEKS HOLD LION'S SHARE IN MANY FYROM FIRMS

    Greek firms are acquiring large share "packages" in FYROM, through the Skopje Stock Exchange, thereby ranking Greece among the leading foreign investors in the neighboring country's capital market, with a participation rate of approximately 56.6 percent.

    While the majority of Greek investments in the Skopje bourse concern buy-outs of FYROM firms, such as Titan's USJE purchase, thousands of KREDITNA BANKA shares have been purchased by Greece's Alpha Credit Bank, while 65% of STOPANSKA BANKA has been bought by Greece's National Bank.

    The trade and economic affairs attache of the Greece-FYROM liaison bureau Constantinos Makriyannis told the Macedonian Press Agency that Greek investments in FYROM's bourse are not aimed at the creation of short- or long-term portfolios, but, rather, buy- outs.

    Moreover, Mr. Makriyannis stated that the Skopje Stock Exchange continues to have its shortcomings, such as limited operation hours (it's open only two days a week), and is affected by the country's low development rate and weak banking system.

    [10] PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT TO BE ELECTED TODAY

    Greece's 300-member parliament, which was sworn-in yesterday, is to elect its president and five deputies today, with incumbent Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis expected to be re-elected for a third consecutive term as the ruling PASOK party has proposed him for the post.

    In addition to the speaker of the House, PASOK will also elect three of his five deputies, while the main opposition party of New Democracy will elect the fourth deputy and the Communist Party (KKE) the fifth.

    Tomorrow, Premier and PASOK leader Costas Simitis will outline his government's program before the parliament, kicking off a three-day debate which will culminate at midnight on Monday in a vote of confidence.

    The parliament will adjourn after Mr. Simitis' speech and reconvene on Sunday afternoon and Monday to debate the government's program.

    The prime minister will then make his closing remarks late on Monday night, before a roll call of the 300 deputies where they will vote on their confidence in the new government.

    [11] KAKLAMANIS RE-ELECTED PRESIDENT OF PARLIAMENT

    With 156 votes in favor, President of the Hellenic Republic Apostolos Kaklamanis has been re-elected to the post for a third consecutive term.

    Two deputies from the ruling PASOK party, which had proposed Mr. Kaklamanis for the post, cast blank votes and five other ballot were void.

    Deputies from the main opposition party New Democracy also vast blank votes, as did the parliamentarians of the Communist Party of Greece and the Coalition of the Left and Progress.

    [12] FIRST GREEKS AND THEN EUROPEANS

    The majority of the Greeks regard themselves mostly Greeks than Europeans, according to an opinion poll conducted on a sample of 1.335 students and professors.

    Based on the opinion poll, the Greeks regard themselves as brave, enthusiastic, sexy, religious, patriots, impulsive, fan- loving, artful, while they admit that they love to gossip, whine and lie low.

    Of those asked, 70% feel more Greeks than Europeans, 17% regard themselves as being only Greeks and just 1% feel first Europeans and then Greeks.

    The students and professors responding to a question concerning the Greek education system, stated that it is superior compared to others in terms of human values, the cultivation of religious feeling, the love for the country, the dissemination of cultural values, the familiarity with technology, the specialized knowledge, effectiveness and the development of the students' creative thinking.

    [13] THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE HAD GAINS OF 1.88%

    The Athens Stock Exchange had gains of 1.88% today creating positive expectations for Monday's session.

    The general index closed at 4.395,16 points, while the volume of transactions was 127.5 billion drachmas.

    It should be noted that the announcements by the Athens Stock Exchange board of directors and the Capital Market Committee on the institutional and operational measures for the shielding of the stock market are expected soon.

    [14] ISMIR CHAMBER OF COMMERCE DELEGATION IN THESSALONIKI

    A large Ismir Chamber of Commerce delegation headed by chamber president Ekrem Demirtas will be in Thessaloniki tomorrow coming form Athens.

    The Turkish delegation will arrive in Thessaloniki tomorrow morning and will visit the house of Kemal Ataturk at the Turkish consulate grounds, while later at noon they will visit Thessaloniki's Commerce and Industry Chamber. They are also scheduled to meet with prefect Kostas Papadopoulos and mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos.

    On Sunday, the Turkish delegation will tour Thessaloniki and later in the afternoon they will depart for Ismir.

    [15] REPRESENTATIVES OF THE SERB OPPOSITION MEET IN ATHENS

    A leading role to the coordination of the activities of the Yugoslav opposition is played by Alexander Karajorjevic, heir to the throne of Serbia, who organized the meeting of the Serb opposition representatives taking place in Athens.

    The Greek foreign ministry stated that it has nothing to do with the organizing of the event.

    In the two-day meeting that is being held at a hotel in Kavouri, during which the Serb opposition will discuss the change of the Serb government, participate representatives of non governmental organizations, Serbs living abroad, the Serb Orthodox Church and independent mass media.

    In his opening speech Karayoryevic called on all the Serb forces to unite in order to promote the radical changes in Serbia and protect the country from a greater catastrophy. He added that Milosevic must be removed from power, while a strong leadership must take over, to satisfy the demand of the people for changes and bring peace and stability in the Balkans.

    [16] REPPAS COMMENTED ON THE 2004 OLYMPIC GAMES

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated on the occasion of the statements made by International Olympic Committee, IOC, president Juan Antonio Samaranch that Greece will meet the obligations it has undertaken and the projects necessary for the organizing of a perfect Olympiad will be completed within the framework of the timetable set.

    Mr. Reppas stated that the government is not considering changes in terms of individuals and functions.

    The Greek government spokesman pointed out that the government is not interested only in the perfect organization of the Olympic Games but it wants to observe with great respect all the procedures in order to hold the Olympic Games in Athens in a way that will guarantee legality and clarity. Mr. Reppas concluded by expressing the belief that the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens will be totally successful.

    [17] GREECE IS ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS COUNTRIES FOR CAR DRIVERS

    Greece together with South Korea, Poland and Portugal are among the most dangerous countries for car drivers, according to a report on road safety concerning 29 countries members of the OECD.

    In the report it is mentioned, that among the developed countries Greece has the most negative course as the ratio is 20.3 traffic accident deaths in every 100.000 people.

    The situation in Greece as well as in South Korea, Poland and Portugal has deteriorated since 1990 but in Greece there was a relative improvement. Specifically, the 2.131 deaths from traffic accidents in 1999 were 4.3% less compared to 1998.

    [18] ONE THOUSAND BABIES DIE EACH YEAR IN GREECE

    Greece presents the worst picture in the European Union regarding the deaths of children just before or after their births as over 1.000 babies die each year.

    According to a recent research, that was conducted by the Research Committee of the Academy of Athens, only 1 in 20 Greek women gives birth without medicine and medical interventions, 1 in 10 births is premature, 1 in 5 pregnant women smokes, while 1 in 3 are Caesarean births.

    According to the research, 15% of the women giving birth in Greece are foreigners and half of them are from Albania, while since the 70s the percentage of Caesarean births has doubled as 1 in every 3 Greek women prefers that method.

    A worrying fact is that women in Greece are rather indifferent toward the child they are bearing as while they make many unnecessary visits to their doctor at the same time, 1 in 5 continues to smoke during pregnancy delaying the normal development of the embryo.

    [19] THE GOVERNMENT CONDEMNS THE DEMONSTRATIONS DURING A GREEK- TURKISH EVENT

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated that the government condemns the incidents that occurred yesterday outside a central Athens hotel in which a Greek-Turkish fashion show was taking place. Mr. Reppas stated that such behaviors do not promote the Greek national interests and hurt the picture of the country abroad.

    Mr. Reppas clarified that such behaviors have no relation with the feelings of the Greek people and concluded by saying that the national symbols of all countries must be respected.

    Yesterday, about 40 people, members of the far-right organization "Chrisi Avgi" (Golden Dawn), gathered outside the Intercontinental Hotel, where the event was taking place, chanting slogans against Turkey, while they also set a Turkish flag on fire. The intervention by the police put an end to the incidents and the demonstration was broken up.

    In the event, Turkish fashion designer Cemil Ipekci presented his collection "Harem 2000" in a joint show with his Greek colleague Michalis Aslanis within the framework of the exhibition on the Greek-Turkish Friendship and Cooperation in Athens.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [20] ROMANIA TO HOST FORTH BSEC MEETING NEXT WEEK

    The fourth meeting among the member-states of the Organization of Economic Cooperation in the Black Sea (BSEC) is to be in Romania on April 27-28, according to the host country's ministry of the interior.

    The meeting will feature the participation of Interior Ministers from Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia, Turkey, Russia, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Romania, which is undertaking the organization's six-month rotating presidency as of today.

    Romania's Minister of the Interior Constantin Dudu Ionescu stated that the participants will review the results of the terrorism-combat agreement signed during the BSEC's previous meeting.

    [21] CONCERT BY GREEK SINGER VASILIS KARRAS IN GIROKASTRA

    Greek popular music singer Vasilis Karras will give a concert in the Albanian city of Girokastra after accepting a request by the Greek consulate, according to the Albanian newspaper "Gazeta Skiptare".

    The date for the concert has not been set yet but according to the newspaper, it will be held most likely in May.

    [22] THE US WAS PLANNING TO HACK INTO THE BANKING SYSTEMS OF GREECE, RUSSIA AND CYPRUS DURING THE WAR IN KOSOVO

    The White House was discussing the likelihood to enter illegally into the electronic systems of the banks in Greece, Russia and Cyprus during the military operations in Kosovo, according to a report by author and company adviser, Bruce Berkowitz, published on the May-June issue of the Foreign Affairs journal.

    Mr. Berkowitz maintains that the assessment of the electronic war operations in Kosovo showed confusion and poor planning. For example, he stresses that the US military commanders were studying the likelihood to attack the electronic control systems of the social services agencies in Serbia but they did not make that move fearing that it will be illegal, immoral and harmful to the people.

    According to Mr. Berkowitz, Clinton administration officials had suggested hacking into the electronic systems of the banks in Russia, Greece and Cyprus where the Serb elite had allegedly hidden its money. The US officials had suggested to electronically steal the money and this way exert pressure on the Serb leaders. However, the operation was canceled when other US officials characterized the plan as incomplete. Specifically, it was stressed that the banks keep records and therefore, the scheme was guaranteed to fail leaving the US exposed to the international public opinion.

    [23] THE AGREEMENT ON THE GOTSE DELTSEV-DRAMAS BORDER CROSSING WAS SIGNED IN SOFIA

    The agreement for the construction of the Gotse Deltsev- Dramas border crossing was signed in Sofia, Bulgaria by Greek and Bulgarian representatives. The project concerning the construction of a 13-kilometers long road section is estimated to cost 9 million Euro that will come from European Union resources.

    The construction work will be undertaken by the Greek company "Proodeftiki" and it will be completed in 18 months.

    A second agreement was also signed concerning the construction of a customs station in Bulgaria that will be undertaken by the Bulgarian company "SIKONKOBUILDING". The project will cost 4.6 million Euro and it will be completed in 18 months.

    Also, Greece and Bulgaria agreed to construct a 450-meters long tunnel which was regarded as necessary after the interventions made by ecological organizations for the protection of the brown bear which is threatened with extinction.

    [24] RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE ORTHODOX AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

    The opening of a religious dialogue between the Orthodox and the Catholic Church that will take place in Maryland, USA in June, was announced by US state Senator Paul Sarbanis in the formal dinner given in Baltimore in honor of Archbishop Dimitrios of America.

    Mr. Sarbanis referred to the contribution of Cardinal Kealer to the opening of this important dialogue that was scheduled to be held earlier but it was canceled because of the situation in Kosovo.

    Cardinal Kealer spoke about Pope John-Paul's visit to the Holy Land and referred to the effort made by the head of the Catholic Church to encourage the appreciation and understanding of the Catholics toward the Orthodox Christians.


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