|Sunday, 19 May 2013|
Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 97-02-20
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN BY MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY
Thessaloniki, February 20, 1997
NEWS IN DETAIL
 ELEMENTARY, KINDERGARTEN SCHOOL TEACHERS RETURN TO CLASSROOMS
Athens, February 20 (MPA)Greece's elementary and kindergarten school teachers have returned to the classrooms, having called off their strike, while secondary education teachers have decided to extend their strike for a sixth consecutive week.
Education Minister Gerasimos Arsenis told the teachers' national union OLME that he is willing to participate in a dialogue with them, but the topics of the discussion will only be limited to institutional matters.
Prime Minister Kostas Simitis said yesterday that the teachers have enjoyed a favorable salary adjustment in comparison with other job sectors. A.F.
 GREECE'S ALTERNATE FOREIGN MINISTER TO VISIT BULGARIA TOMORROW
Athens, February 20 (MPA)Greece's Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou will visit Bulgaria tomorrow where he will have contacts with government officials over the initiatives taken by the Greek government in the Balkans and the humanitarian aid missions forwarded to the neighboring country which is undergoing a formidable economic crisis.
At the European Union's Council of General Affairs, to be held on February 24, the Greek government is to table Bulgaria's request for more direct aid from the EU in order to face the formidable economic crisis. Greece is expected to file similar requests for other Balkan countries which face similar plights. A.F.
 THESSALONIKI MAYOR: D.A. IS WELCOME TO "CULTURAL CAPITAL ORGANIZATION"
Thessaloniki, February 20 (MPA)The Mayor of Thessaloniki Konstantinos Kosmopoulos stated yesterday evening that the District Attorney is welcomed to come and investigate all allegations of financial mishaps at the "Thessaloniki, Cultural Capital of Europe '97" Organization.
The District Attorney, currently conducting the said investigation, has also requested to examine all the employment contracts of those working for the Organization, as well as their resumes which attest to their qualifications. A.F.
 UN CHIEF AIMS FOR DIRECT TALKS BETWEEN CLERIDES-DENKTASH IN 1997
Nicosia, February 20 (MPA)United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan aims for direct talks between Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides and Turkish- Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, within the year, according to the Chief's alternate special envoy to Cyprus Gustav Feishel.
Mr. Feishel, who met with Mr. Annan in New York, examined the situation in Cyprus as it now stands following the recent visit made to the island by the UN Secretary-General's special envoy to Cyprus Han Sung Ju. A.F.
 EU'S "15" TO FINALIZE COMMON STATEMENT ON CYPRUS' ACCESSION MONDAY
Brussels, February 20 (MPA)The European Union's Foreign Ministers Meeting, to be held on Monday, will finalize the report on their common statement regarding the pre-conditions of Cyprus' accession to the EU, which they will in turn present to the Association Council.
The content of this report was discussed yesterday at a committee where the participants saw that it could not be adopted given Greece's objections to a phrase contained in the report, according to which the Turkish-Cypriots must also take part in the negotations concerning Cyprus' accession to the EU.
According to the BBC, one of the proposed solutions to alleviate this tangle was that the "15" express the hope that the conditions will allow for the participation of all involved, that is, both the Greek-Cypriots and the Turkish-Cypriots, in Cyprus' accession. The situation is still pending given that the Greek side is currently examining if it should accept this aspect, and also given that both Britain and Germany have yet to decide if they will agree with this view. A.F.
 US SECRETARY OF STATE DISCUSSES CYPRUS, GREECE-TURKEY WITH FOREIGN OFFICE
London, February 20 (MPA)United States Secretary of State Madleine Albright and British Prime Minister John Major shared their concerns over the Greek-Turkish relations during their meeting in London, where the US official also met with Britain's Foreign Minister Malcolm Rifkind.
Ms. Albright promised that the State Department will intensify its efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue, as well as to reduce the existing tension in the eastern Mediterranean region.
Mr. Rifkind stated that the Cyprus issue is an "international challenge" and added that talks could possibly be held under the auspices of the United Nations, a development, he pointed out, that is desired by both the US and Britain.
Ms. Albright avoided any mention of the much-awaited US initiative over Cyprus, and only expressed her concern over the aggravated situation in eastern Mediterranean.
"We share NATO's fears for the worsening situation and are watching the developments very closely," she stated.
In turn, Mr. Rifkind emphasized that a series of efforts are needed in order to finalize any whatsoever initiative for settling the differences between the island's two communities.
Referring to the reports of a British plan to dispatch a multi-national force of 5,000 troops to Cyprus, the British Foreign Minister responded that "I cannot confirm the reports since I hear them for the first time. Britain is currently participating in UNFICYP and we recognize that in order for a peacekeeping agrement which will allow the island's reunion to exist, new initiatives will be needed, but I'm afraid that we still have a long way to go."
U.S. State Department spokesperson Nicholas Burns also referred to the issue of a U.S. initiative for Cyprus and stated that his country has not drawn a specific plan.
"There is the opportunity to achieve progress in resolving the Cyprus issue within 1997," Mr. Burns said, adding that "we haven't drawn a specific plan but the U.S. and Britain certainly have the political will to proceed and resolve the issue." A.F.
 CYPRIOT PRESIDENT: EU ACCESSION TALKS ARE HELD ONLY WITH CYPRUS
Nicosia, February 20 (MPA)Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides stated today that the United States are preparing an initiative over the Cyprus issue, while he also pointed out that the island's accession talks with the European Union are conducted only with the Cypriot government.
Moreover, Mr. Clerides clarified that the US Secretary of State Madleine Albright and the British Premier John Major are not speaking of a crisis in Cyprus per se, but rather are expressing a concern regarding the tension that has been created over the Cypriot government's missiles purchase from Russia.
"They will continue to tell us this, but we will not be swayed," Mr. Clerides stated. "The missiles will arrive, as afforded by the contract, whcih we signed with Russia."
In regards to reports that bring the Turkish-Cypriots becoming involved in the Cyprus-EU accession talks, the Cypriot President responded that only the Cypriot Republic is conducting these talks.
"They cannot be talking with a group or a community which has not enjoyed recognition," he said. A.F.
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/