|Wednesday, 20 February 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-08-09
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 MINISTER OF AEGEAN SCOFFS AT CHURCHS DERISIONAthens, 9 August 2000 (11:38 UTC+2)
After the clergy association of the island of Mytilene passed a resolution this week declaring Aegean Minister Nikos Sifounakis persona non grata, he responded with the wish that "this story doesn't develop into a comedy that will most of all harm the Church."
Mr. Sifounakis was denounced by the clerics due to his harsh criticism of the church's stance on the ID issue, which they described as "anti-Greek statements".
Meanwhile, similar outbursts by various bishops who continue to berate the government for its decision to remove the religious affiliation listing from state-issued identification cards have prompted the Archbishop of Athens and All of Greece Christodoulos to urge them to hush in light of next Tuesday's Feast of the Virgin Mary.
 GREEK GENERAL IN UK, LAYS A WREATH FOR SAUNDERSLondon, 9 August 2000 (10:32 UTC+2)
Greece's military chief Gen. Manoussos Paragioudakis is presently on an official visit to the United Kingdom where, in addition to meetings with top military officials, he will lay a wreath at the grave of British defense attache Stephen Saunders, who was assassinated by the November 17 terrorist group in Athens in June.
According to well-informed sources quoted by the BBC's Greek news service, Gen. Paragioudakis and the British military officials discussed the matter of Britain's £1.2 billion bid to supply the Greek government with Challenger 2 tanks.
The British are among four countries vying for the deal to sell 250 tanks to Greece. Earlier this week, the French were accused by the British Defense Ministry of having attempted to undermine Britain's bid through elaborate schemes that reportedly involved espionage and sabotage.
In the sale to Greece, Great Britain's Vickers Defense Systems, which manufactures the 60-ton Challenger 2 tank, is facing competition from the Leclerc tank manufactured by Giat Industries, the German Leopard 2A5 made by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, and the American Abrams tank made by General Dynamics.
 BAKOYIANNI:TURKISH ARMY CHIEF STATEMENT PROVOCATIVEAthens, 9 August 2000 (20:20 UTC+2)
"Unbelievably provocative" were the words used by Greek Foreign shadow minister, Dora Bakoyiannis, to describe the article written by Turkish General Army Staff Chief, Attila Ates, concerning the official study of Turkish armed forces. In the article, Mr Ates fails to recognise the Greek element present on the Aegean islands, even during the time of the Ottoman Empire and maintains that Turkey continues to pursue its old demands, according to Ms Bakoyianni.
"Mr Ates conveys the contempt of the Turkish side towards international law and to bilateral relations with Greece, threatening that the Aegean could fuel one of the next most significant conflicts in the world", Ms Bakoyianni said, adding that this provocative stance on Turkey's part could take on dangerous implications.
Ms Bakoyianni went on to accuse the Simitis government of showing unease in the face of this provocative climate and of being incapable of clearly and coherently promoting the Greek stance on the matter.
"It's time the Greek government systematically and completely notified all political parties in the country of the critical condition in which this issue is currently found", Ms Bakoyianni said.
 GREEK FISHING BOAT RAMMED BY TURKISH STORESHIPThessaloniki, 9 August 2000 (13:12 UTC+2)
A Greek fishing boat carrying ten passengers was rammed early this morning by a Turkish storeship sailing in Greek territorial waters 4.5 nautical miles south of the Agrilia cape at the island of Lesvos.
According to reports, the Turkish storeship failed to abide by the directions given by the Greek Coast Guard picketboat and returned to the Turkish territorial waters without its navigation lights on.
The Greek fishing boat was towed to shore, while none of its passengers were harmed.
 GREEK OLYMPIC TEAM CYCLIST FAILS 2ND DOPPING TESTAthens, 9 August 2000 (13:00 UTC+2)
Another member of Greece's Sydney 2000 Olympics squad was expelled from the team after having twice tested positive for anabolic steroids.
According to Greece's national Olympic committee, Cyclist George Chimonetos tested positive in his second urine test and is now facing a two-year ban. Track athlete Alexandra Tziouti, who was set to compete in the 20-km walk, was expelled from the squad on Monday.
 SPONGE DIVER FINDS TREASURE IN ASTYPALAIA COASTThessaloniki, 9 August 2000 (12:58 UTC+2)
A treasure of more than 35,000 ancient coins dating from the third century BC was discovered off the coast of the island of Astypalaia in the Dodekanese by Greek sponge diver Christos Galouzis.
The finding, which has been transferred to the Department of Underwater Antiquities for cleaning and conservation, is unique due to the number of coins discovered, but also because of the fact that it is the first time such a large hoard of coins has turned up in a wreck. Overall, the treasure weighs 182 kilos.
According to initial examinations, the coins have been identified as depicting emperors Probus (276-282), Carinus (283-285) and Maximianus Herculius (286-305).
Archaeologists also located fragments of wood among the coins, leading them to believe that the treasure was transported inside wooden coffers.
 GRD613 MILLION AWARDED TO YAK CRASH VICTIMS KINThessaloniki, 9 August 2000 (12:29 UTC+2)
Thessaloniki's Multi-Member First Instance Court has awarded 613 million drachmas in compensation to the relatives of two of the passengers who were on board the ill-fated Yakovlev aircraft that crashed on December 1997 on a Greek mountain range.
According to press reports, the court has adjudicated the amount of 263 million drachmas to the family of Paschalis Karathanasis and 350 million drachmas to the family of Michalis Koes. Both families had filed claims for damages against the Ukrainian "Aerosweet Airlines", Yakovlev's parent company.
The Yakovlev-42 airliner, with 73 people on board, vanished from the radar minutes before it was scheduled to land at Thessaloniki airport. Its wreckage was discovered two days later in the Pieria mountain range of northern Greece.
 OA FINANCIAL LEDGERS FULL OF GAPS, DISCREPANCIESAthens, 9 August 2000 (10:58 UTC+2)
The international auditing firm Price Waterhouse Coopers has been assigned with the financial management of Greece's national air carrier Olympic Airways, after the company's ledgers were found to contain a great number of gaps and discrepancies. According to Minister of Transportation and Communication Christos Verelis, O.A. will only attract investor interest when it manages to be on a par with its European counterparts.
With an accumulated debt of over 40 billion drachmas ($111 million), OA faces financial collapse if there is no proper management until its sale. The government is seeking to sell up to 65 percent of the national airline.
Meanwhile, authorities are puzzled over the "strange" coincidence of a leaked classified document forwarded from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to the Macedonian Airlines (MA), which is said to list a number of MA shortcomings related to flight security.
Responding to the CAA's letter, the president of MA Ioannis Gypasis claimed that his airline never refused reviews, albeit which, as he stressed, should have been performed by management officials and not by individuals who had a conflict of interest. According to Mr. Gypasis, the review committee in one given instance comprised a pilot who had been dismissed by MA for inappropriate behavior, as well as another pilot working for a competing airline.
 CREDIBLE WITNESS TO SAUNDERS MURDER TESTIFIESThessaloniki, 9 August 2000 (09:56 UTC+2)
An eyewitness to the June 8 assassination of Britain's defense attache to Greece Stephen Saunders has voluntarily come forward to Athens police and given testimony to the murder claimed by the notorious November 17 terrorist organization.
According to the Athens daily "To Vima", the unidentified male witness gave a minute-by-minute account of the ambush-style killing of the British diplomat. Brigadier Saunders was shot at 7.45 a.m. as he was driving to work on a major motorway in Athens. He was shot in the abdomen and hands by two unknown assailants on motorcycles who fired at him through the passenger-side window of his white Rover automobile.
The witness, who reported that he was in his car when the assassination occurred, is said to have described the murder in detail and also provided information on which of the two assailants fired the shots.
The unidentified witness is believed to be credible by the Greek police.
 «JOHN» DEMANDS REFUND, DIDNT GET SATISFACTIONThessaloniki, 9 August 2000 (09:35 UTC+2)
A 40-year-old Turk who demanded a refund from a Thessaloniki brothel after claiming that "services" rendered to him were "unsatisfactory", was beaten and robbed by a gang of men last night.
Business owner Sahin Yilmaz, resident of Thessaloniki, visited the red-light district home run by 69-year-old madam Despina Paraskevopoulou and, after his tryst with a 23-year-old hooker, demanded his money back claiming that he hadn't been sexually satisfied.
Instead of a refund, Paraskevopoulou and her "employee" summoned an entourage of five men, among them boys as young as 15 years old, who dragged Yilmaz outside the brothel, beat him and robbed him of his cash and green card.
Following the victim's report, Thessaloniki police arrested both the brothel's madam and the "ill-serving" prostitute. An investigation is underway for the location of the gang members.
 GREEK AND ALBANIAN ARCHAEOLOGICAL DIG IN KORITSAAthens, 9 August 2000 (20:46 UTC+2)
Greek and Albanian archeologists will collaborate in an archaeological dig due to begin on September 3rd in the Albanian city Koritsa. The Greek team will be headed by George Chourmouziadis, an archaeology tutor at the University of Thessaloniki, whilst the Albanian team will be led by Mouzafer Korkouti, director of the Archeological Institute of Tirana. The site of the archaeological dig is a location rich in historic and prehistoric material and will the subject of future digs if successful.
Thessalian ceramic samples similar to those found at Dimini, near Volos, have been found in Koritsa, according to Mr Chourmouziadis, however, this type of pottery does not exist in western Macedonia. The discovery of similar ceramic samples in Volos and Koritsa is proof that there was contact between people living in these regions 7.000 years ago, Mr Chourmouziadis says.