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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 98-05-20

Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.

BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN BY THE MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY

Thessaloniki, May 20, 1998


TITLES

  • [01] STRIKE FEVER CONTINUES AT BANKS, SPILLS OVER AT TRANSPORTATION
  • [02] EC PLEASED WITH COURSE OF GREECE"S ECONOMY
  • [03] NATO"s DEFENSE UNDERSECRETARIES TO MEET AT TIRANA
  • [04] PRESIDENT, PM TO OPEN GREEK INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION ASSEMBLY
  • [05] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER: WE ACCEPT NO PACKAGE FROM ANYONE
  • [06] US STATE DEPARTMENT: NO NEW POLICY ON G/T ISSUES
  • [07] ECONOMY AND LABOR MINISTERS TO MEET WITH STRIKING STAFF
  • [08] OLYMPIC AIRWAYS TO INTRODUCE FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAM
  • [09] SPANISH ROYALS TO VISIT THESSALONIKI, VERGINA
  • [10] INTERBALKAN COOPERATION FOR RAILWAYS DEVELOPMENT
  • [11] BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY ROBIN COOK VISITS TURKEY
  • [12] KOSSOVO"S ALBANIANS MIGHT BOYCOTT FRIDAY"S TALKS WITH SERBS

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [01] STRIKE FEVER CONTINUES AT BANKS, SPILLS OVER AT TRANSPORTATION

    In protest to the state's privatization plans for the Ionian Bank, employees at Commercial Bank are continuing their strike for a second consecutive day today, while employees at Ionian have been on an indefinite strike for a week. Rolling strikes by bank staff are scheduled to continue until June 12 when the shareholders of Commercial Bank vote on whether they will approve the sale of subsidiary Ionian. Today employees at the state- owned enterprises (DEKOS) and banks will hold a four-hour work stoppage, a decision issued by the General Confederation of Greek Laborers (GSEE). In Thessaloniki city buses will not operate until 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

    [02] EC PLEASED WITH COURSE OF GREECE"S ECONOMY

    The European Commission has expressed its satisfaction over the course of Greece"s economy. During yesterday session of the European Union"s Finance and National Economy Ministers, extensive reference was made at the significant improvement of the basic indexes of the Greek economy, fully adopting the country"s target to join the Economic and Monetary Union in the year 2001.

    [03] NATO"s DEFENSE UNDERSECRETARIES TO MEET AT TIRANA

    The defense undersecretaries of the states-members of NATO are to meet at the Albanian capital, Tirana, on Friday. The undersecretaries of defense from Greece, Albania, Italy, FYROM, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey and the Unites States will attend the session, along with officials from the alliance and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

    [04] PRESIDENT, PM TO OPEN GREEK INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION ASSEMBLY

    Athens, May 20 (MPA)

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is to salute the open session of the annual assembly of the Greek Industries Association (SEV) which will be held today in Athens and will also be attended by the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos.

    The Minister of Finance and National Economy Yiannos Papantoniou will be among the speakers at the event, along with SEV"s Chairman Jason Stratos and the chairman of the German Industries Association Hans-Olaf Henkel.

    [05] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER: WE ACCEPT NO PACKAGE FROM ANYONE

    Athens, 20/05/1998 (MPA)

    US President Bill Clinton and Britain's prime minister Tony Blair support the concept of a comprehensive "package" solution to the multiple outstanding issues between Greece and Turkey, but Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Theodoros Pangalos has responded that Greece does not agree with this concept, which in any case is far too vague and even self-contradictory.

    "We will not accept "packages" from anyone," Mr. Pangalos characteristically said. The Cyprus problem, tension in the Aegean, jurisdiction on disputes and the position of Turkey vis-a-vis the European union cannot be solved in isolation from one another, according to Mr. Clinton, while Mr. Blair stressed the need for closer ties between Turkey and the European Union. There never was and there could never be a package deal for these two major issues (the Cyprus problem and Greek- Turkish relations)", Mr. Pangalos stressed and also said that Mr. Clinton's statements linking the Cyprus issue and Greek- Turkish problems in the Aegean contained certain contradictions. By their very nature, Mr. Pangalos said, the Cyprus problem and Greek-Turkish relations were different. "The Cyprus issue is an international problem of invasion and occupation which concerns the world community. It is not a Greek-Turkish issue."

    [06] US STATE DEPARTMENT: NO NEW POLICY ON G/T ISSUES

    Washington, May 20 (MPA)

    US State Department spokesperson James Rubin stressed yesterday that the Clinton Administration has no new policy in regards to Greek-Turkish issues and the Cyprus matter, referring to questions that arose after US President Bill Clinton"s statement that calls for a "comprehensive solution to these matters. . "The President's statement speaks for itself in reaffirming long-standing US policy," Mr. Rubin said. adding that "we want to help Greece and Turkey resolve their problems peacefully; we want to help resolve the Cyprus problem; and we strongly support Turkey's EU aspirations." Moreover, the US diplomat said that the US is not proposing a new set of negotiations or any other approach that would link these issues in some sort of package deal. "We do, however, believe, as the President indicated, that progress in one area can improve the climate and the atmosphere for progress in another. But they are still separate issues being dealt with separately through diplomatic channels," he added. When asked if US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is planning to travel to Turkey and Greece very soon, Mr. Rubin responded "I don't think any decision has been made on that."

    [07] ECONOMY AND LABOR MINISTERS TO MEET WITH STRIKING STAFF

    Athens, May 20 (MPA)

    The Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou, along with the Minister of Labor Miltiades Papaioannou are to meet with representatives from the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) and the General Confederation of Bank Employees (OTOE) today, in order to attempt to ease the crisis that has erupted in the banking sector where striking employees are opposed to privatization plans. GSEE has called a nationwide strike for May 27, while, today, workers at all banks, Thessaloniki"s Public Transportation Organization, the Public Power Corporation (DEH), the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE), Hellenic Post Offices (ELTA) and Olympic Airways are due to undertake a work stoppage between 12pm and 4pm today.

    [08] OLYMPIC AIRWAYS TO INTRODUCE FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAM

    Athens, May 20 (MPA)

    The national air carrier Olympic Airways is to introduce a Frequent Flyer Program as of June 15, in an effort to attract passengers and offset the losses recently suffered by the economic upheaval brought on by the strikes, flight cancellations and delays. . The frequent flyer program is to be modeled after the packages currently offered by other international air carriers and is expected to be announced later this week. Olympic Airways will have to cut costs by 250 billion drachmas over the next five years, or face closure, by minimum or no salary increase, reductions in overtime pay, longer working hours for flying crews, and reduced seasonal employment during the busy summer season.

    [09] SPANISH ROYALS TO VISIT THESSALONIKI, VERGINA

    Thessaloniki, May 20 ?(MPA)

    King of Spain Juan Carlos and his wife Sophia are to arrive in Athens on Monday for a four-day official visit at the invitation of the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos. President Stephanopoulos will host a dinner in honor of the Spanish royals on Monday night, while the couple will also inaugurate the "Classic Greece in Spain" exhibition. On May 28 King Carlos and Queen Sofia will visit Thessaloniki where they will be received by the Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Philippos Petsalnikos and on May 29 the royal couple will visit the archaeological sites and museum of Vergina.

    [10] INTERBALKAN COOPERATION FOR RAILWAYS DEVELOPMENT

    Belgrade, May 20 (MPA)

    A new age is dawning on the Balkan railway systems, after the cooperation protocol signed yesterday in Belgrade among the chiefs of Southeast European railway organizations. The group comprises Greece, Bulgaria., Romania, Turkey, Yugoslavia, FYROM and Albania (whose representative did not attend the meeting). The representatives of the aforementioned countries met to lay the ground rules of expanding the itineraries of intercity and eurocity trains in order to improve the provided services. Moreover, the contacts aimed at reducing the waiting period at the borders through amending the customs and police controls in accordance to international standards.

    [11] BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY ROBIN COOK VISITS TURKEY

    Ankara, May 20 (MPA)

    The British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook conducted a four- hour visit to Ankara yesterday, in preparation of Monday"s Association Council between the European Union and Turkey. Mr Cook arrived with a draft proposal from the EU Commission that was supposed to tempt the Turks back into discussions with promises of a "strategy" which would offer a path towards EU membership. However, Turkey's Foreign Minister, Ismail Cem, stated yesterday "there is discrimination against us on the part of the EU, and unless it is removed, the limits on our political dialogue will remain."

    [12] KOSSOVO"S ALBANIANS MIGHT BOYCOTT FRIDAY"S TALKS WITH SERBS

    Prishtina, May 20 (MPA)

    Kossovo"s Albanians who have agreed to holding talks with the Serbian government over the future of Kossovo stated yesterday that they could boycott the first session on Friday in Pristina. ``We have not decided to attend or not to attend,'' said a member of the negotiating team assembled by Ibrahim Rugova, leader of Kossovo"s ethnic Albanians. ``This is not a division between one group of advisers who think we should go and another who think we should not. We all see the pro's and con's. We all have a good list of reasons why we shouldn't attend and yet we still see a reason to attend.'' Political observers say they may be the last chance to avoid a war in Kossovo that could spread to ther parts of the Balkans. Mr. Rugova and Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic met for the first time in Belgrade last Friday and the first substantive session between their representatives is supposed to take place this Friday in Kosovo's capital, Pristina.

    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/


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