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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 00-05-08

Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papandreou's proposal for complete lifting of sanctions on Yugoslavia well received
  • [02] Balkan reconstruction forum opens in Thessaloniki on Monday
  • [03] Stephanopoulos says settlement of Greek-Turkish issues will facilitate peace
  • [04] Karamanlis to 'La Stampa': Ideological rift between left and right now over
  • [05] Kaklamanis refers to Greek efforts at controlling borders
  • [06] Pro-KKE labor group holds May Day rally
  • [07] Finance minister Papantoniou at ECOFIN meeting in Brussels on Monday
  • [08] April inflation rate expected to be announced on Monday
  • [09] Patriarch Vartholomeos officiates at historic mass in Cappadocia's ancient monastic district
  • [10] Memorial service held for Thessaloniki Jews
  • [11] Memorial service held for Greek victims of Nazi concentration camp
  • [12] Turkish nationals charged with trying to smuggle illegals into Germany
  • [13] Simitis to chair meeting on Tuesday on organization of Athens 2004 Olympiad
  • [14] Karamanlis calls for Avramopoulos or Daskalaki to oversee Olympic preparations
  • [15] President Clerides moved from intensive care unit after operation
  • [16] One Greek soldier listed as missing identified

  • [01] Papandreou's proposal for complete lifting of sanctions on Yugoslavia well received

    AZORES, PORTUGAL, 08/05/2000 (ANA - S. Sideris)

    Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou's proposals for the lifting of sanctions imposed on Yugoslavia and for the holding of an international conference on the Balkans were well received at a two-day informal meeting of European Union foreign ministers which ended on Sunday in Azores, Portugal.

    According to reports, 13 countries, with the exception of Britain and the Netherlands, are in favor of the complete lifting of the sanctions, as they believe that the prolonged embargo operates in favor of President Slobodan Milosevic and does not help the opposition forces in Yugoslavia.

    This issue will be brought up again for discussion at the Council of General Affairs meeting in June.

    Discussion is also intensifying concerning the final status of Kosovo. Javier Solana, EU High Representative for common foreign policy and political security, conveyed to the meeting an American proposal according to which a discussion on the final status of Kosovo can start.

    Local elections are expected to be held in Kosovo in October and the EU views that local institutions must first be created and then discussion on the final status of Kosovo can start.

    The foreign ministers also maintained a positive stance on the Greek proposal for the holding of an international conference on the Balkans.

    Between June 7-10, a regional meeting of Stability Pact foreign ministers will be held and at which agencies from Serbia are expected to be invited.

    Regarding the situation in Yugoslavia, the foreign ministers discussed ways to further strengthen the forces opposed to Milosevic.

    The Greek foreign minister further raised the issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), saying that it should be maintained as an independent state. He said the Greek government proposes that the EU and NATO guarantee FYROM's existing borders.

    Finally, the 15 ministers called for the formulation of a report aimed at the planning of an EU unified strategy for Yugoslavia and the Balkans in general.

    Greece's proposals for the holding of an international meeting on the Balkans and for the lifting of the embargo imposed on Yugoslavia are continuously gaining ground, Papandreou said after the start on Saturday of the informal meeting.

    Noting that the Greek government supports an overall EU policy for the Balkans, Papandreou said that this issue was discussed in depth at the meeting, with the aim of establishing a unified strategy.

    The foreign minister said that Greece's proposal for an international meeting on the Balkans was gaining ground and that what was needed was for the EU to give a clear order for the respect of borders and human rights and for the region's development.

    Referring to the embargo imposed on Yugoslavia, he said the country's isolation did not bring about any results, and for this reason Greece supports the lifting of sanctions.

    The Greek minister further said "we must contribute to the democratic development of Yugoslavia's society and also support the moderate forces in Kosovo." He said that to a great degree these proposals were being accepted.

    EU - Turkey relations: Greek Foreign Minister reiterated Athens' position here over the weekend that an EU-Turkey relationship must contain conclusions of last December's Helsinki summit.

    Papandreou's comment came during the first discussion over EU-Turkey ties at the informal council of EU foreign ministers in Azores

    The Greek minister also briefed his counterparts over recent talks he had with Turkish FM Ismail Cem in the United States over Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus issue.

    The council also accepted a Greek proposal for instituting an EU-Cyprus council.

    [02] Balkan reconstruction forum opens in Thessaloniki on Monday

    Athens, 08/05/2000 (ANA)

    The two-day 7th annual Thessaloniki Forum begins in this northern city on Monday and will focus on the social, political and economic state of the countries of southeastern Europe, which are under reconstruction. An account will also be made of economic cooperation promoted in the region in 1999.

    The Federation of Industries of Northern Greece and the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the Thessaloniki-headquartered Balkan Reconstruction Organization organizes the forum.

    Taking part will be government officials from most of the Balkan countries, diplomats and Greek and foreign businessmen.

    Participants in the forum include Stability Pact coordinator Bodo Hombach, US Ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns and the Deputy Prime Minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Vassil Topurkovski.

    One of the main characteristics of this year's forum is the big participation of foreign delegates, who are expected to exceed 200.

    According to the program, the forum will open with addresses by Minister of Macedonia and Thrace George Paschalidis and Thessaloniki Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos.

    [03] Stephanopoulos says settlement of Greek-Turkish issues will facilitate peace

    Athens, 08/05/2000 (ANA)

    President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos on Sunday ended a three-day tour of Thrace with a visit to Alexandroupoli where he referred to Greek-Turkish relations.

    He said that he hoped that the settlement of issues with neighboring Turkey would bring about the peaceful co-existence of the peoples and consequently a feeling of security and confidence, which would not allow crises in sensitive regions such as Evros and the islands of the eastern Aegean.

    Stephanopoulos said that it was certain that there was willingness for rapprochement and that Turkey's European vocation would not permit it to exert pressure as it did in the past. He said the election of the new president of Turkey could help in this direction.

    Stephanopoulos was also briefed by prefect George Dolios on the region's problems and said that prospects opening for Thrace were very positive.

    The president had visited Xanthi on Friday and Rodopi on Saturday.

    In Rodopi prefecture he praised the harmonious cohabitation of Christians and Moslems in the region.

    Addressing a gathering at a central square, the president greeted Christians and Moslems alike. "I have the same feelings for all, the same love, the same wishes for all to be well, for prosperity, for us to live in peace," he said.

    "Our country shows its peaceful and friendly feelings towards all and awaits from all to respond to this peaceful offer. Only in a period of peace can peoples and countries progress," the president added.

    [04] Karamanlis to 'La Stampa': Ideological rift between left and right now over

    ROME, 08/05/2000 (ANA - L. Hatzikyriakos)

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis was quoted by an Italian daily over the weekend as emphasizing that "the age of ideological rifts between the right and left has passed."

    In a published interview by the newspaper "La Stampa", under the title "We don't need to awaken communist ghosts", Karamanlis is also quoted saying that the "denomination of the opposition doesn't help." "To win you need to 'conquer' the center (political) space, demonstrating effectiveness and realism," was Karamanlis' advise to Forza Italia leader and former premier Silvio Berlusconi.

    Asked what connects the center-right's recent election victory in Spain with Forza Italia's municipal sweep in the neighboring country and ND's narrow miss at winning the Greek general elections, Karamanlis said Europe's "popular parties" are attracting voters from all sections of society.

    "It doesn't matter if an individual hails from the left or from the right. What matters is his abilities," he added.

    [05] Kaklamanis refers to Greek efforts at controlling borders

    STRASBOURG, 08/05/2000 (ANA - N. Roussis)

    Greek Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis emphasized here over the weekend what he called Greece's "enormous effort" to effectively patrol its land and sea borders.

    He also cited what he called significant successes by Greek authorities in breaking up drug trafficking rings funneling narcotics into Europe, while adding that organized crime and corruption are "undermining the roots of our socio-political system".

    Kaklamanis was addressing counterparts at a Council of Europe (CoE) assembly of 41 European parliament presidents, convened to focus on the issue of corruption and activities of organized crime.

    In an earlier observation during the sessions, Kaklamanis intervened by saying, "collusion of economic interests with the operation of related rings has, in our day, become synonymous with state and social corruption, which often exploits the power of controlled mass media in order to create conditions of influence, dependence and blackmailing of even political power itself, so as to ensure and retain their own financial benefits."

    [06] Pro-KKE labor group holds May Day rally

    Athens, 08/05/2000 (ANA)

    Members of a pro-Communist Party of Greece labor movement, PAME, held a rally march in Athens on Sunday in honor of May Day.

    According to KKE Secretary General Aleka Papariga, "... workers must from today begin organizing their readiness to obstruct the overturn of the social security system... This battle cannot be justifiably lost, especially in terms of obstructing anti-popular measures."

    PAME officials, in a resolution, also criticized the two major labor union organizations in Greece, GSEE and ADEDY, as exercising "pro-government" and "pro-management" trade unionism.

    Demands included a safeguarding of the social security system and state-run enterprises, a 35-hour work week and unemployment benefits equal to 80 percent of an unskilled worker's daily wages on a monthly basis, among others.

    The march began at Kotzias Square and ended at the US embassy in Athens.

    A similar PAME rally was held in Thessaloniki, with the local leadership fielding the same demands, along with accompanying anti-NATO slogans.

    [07] Finance minister Papantoniou at ECOFIN meeting in Brussels on Monday

    Athens, 08/05/2000 (ANA)

    The European Union's Council of Finance Ministers (ECOFIN) convenes in Brussels on Monday with the participation of Greek National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou.

    The meeting essentially launches negotiations leading to the final approval of Greece's accession to the Economic Monetary Union (EMU) at the EU summit on June 19.

    [08] April inflation rate expected to be announced on Monday

    Athens, 08/05/2000 (ANA)

    The National Statistics Service is expected to announce on Monday April's inflation rate.

    According to sources, Greece's inflation rate in April stood at 2.7 per cent, compared to 3.1 per cent in March.

    The decline in inflation is due to a large degree to the international reduction of the price of oil, despite the increase in the dollar parity.

    [09] Patriarch Vartholomeos officiates at historic mass in Cappadocia's ancient monastic district

    AVANOS, Turkey, 08/05/2000 (ANA - A. Kourkoulas)

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos on Sunday officiated at an open-air mass at the historic Avanos site in the southeastern Asia Minor region of Cappadocia, a centuries-old center for Orthodox monastic activity abandoned after the 1923 exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey.

    A crowd of worshippers hailing from Greece, Mount Athos, Germany, Montenegro as well as the Orthodox community of Istanbul attended the ecclesiastical service, the first celebrated among the several disbanded monasteries and churches sculpted into the surrounding soft-stone formations of the ancient district.

    On their part, mayors from nearby townships expressed their satisfaction with the service, including Avanos Mayor Seihan Dourou, who stated: "I always wanted to organize the ceremony, and I hope it will be established once a year."

    Both the Greek and Bulgarian ambassadors to Ankara attended the service.

    The Patriarch, in the presence of several Turkish television crews, later touched on the pilgrimage's significance, while noting that the event was tied to the recent improvement in Greek-Turkish relations.

    [10] Memorial service held for Thessaloniki Jews

    Athens, 08/05/2000 (ANA)

    A memorial service was held on Sunday for the 50,000 Jews of Thessaloniki who were killed by the Nazis during 1943-45.

    Macedonia-Thrace Minister George Paschalidis who said that such tragic phenomena, which stigmatized humanity, should never appear again represented the government.

    This year's memorial service was held in a heavy atmosphere following the desecration in April of the city's Holocaust monument and Synagogue by elements nostalgic of Nazi ideology.

    [11] Memorial service held for Greek victims of Nazi concentration camp

    VIENNA, 08/05/2000 (ANA - D. Dimitrakoudis)

    A memorial service was held on Sunday at the one-time Nazi death camp of Mauthausen for the 3,700 Greeks that were killed at the site during World War II.

    Metropolitan of Austria Mihail officiated at a Te Deum service attended by Greek embassy officials and local expatriate groups.

    [12] Turkish nationals charged with trying to smuggle illegals into Germany

    Athens, 08/05/2000 (ANA)

    Three Turkish nationals were arrested in the NE Greece town of Xanthi on Sunday on charges of attempting to ferry 10 illegal immigrants to Germany.

    According to reports, the suspects were travelling aboard a tourist coach that had legally crossed the Greek frontier at the Kipoi border post on its way to Munich.

    Instead of picking up tourists in the Thracian town, the trio allegedly loaded 10 illegal aliens onto the bus.

    A brief chase ended with the three suspects' arrest. The vehicle was also confiscated.

    The three Turks were identified as Kidol Entir, 40, Yassar Setin, 60, and his son, Hatif, 28.

    [13] Simitis to chair meeting on Tuesday on organization of Athens 2004 Olympiad

    Athens, 08/05/2000 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis will chair an interministerial meeting on Tuesday on the organization of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

    On Monday, the Prime Minister will meet Culture Minister Theodoros Pangalos to discuss the issue of the Olympiad.

    Simitis on Friday made it clear that there was no issue of a special ministry being created for the Olympic Games.

    He discussed the issue of the Games with Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos on Friday.

    [14] Karamanlis calls for Avramopoulos or Daskalaki to oversee Olympic preparations

    Athens, 08/05/2000 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis was quoted in an Athens daily over the weekend as calling for Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos or 2004 Olympics candidacy head Yianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki to oversee efforts for the Athens Games. In an interview published by the Sunday edition of "Apogevmatini", Karamanlis charges that Prime Minister Costas Simitis has exhibited a "lack of political volition" in terms of the 2004 and is also "fully responsible delays in preparations".

    He also calls for the creation of a national Olympic council chaired by the president of the republic and comprised by political party leaders and the president of the Overseas Council of Hellenes (SAE).

    [15] President Clerides moved from intensive care unit after operation

    NICOSIA, 08/05/2000 (CNA/ANA)

    Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides is no longer in intensive care at the private clinic, in which he is being treated after undergoing surgery to remove a polyp from his large intestine.

    Reading to the press on Sunday the fifth medical bulletin on the President's health since Friday morning, when the President was taken to theatre, Dr. Joseph Kasios said that "the condition of his health is developing smoothly" and he "has full clarity of mind ".

    He noted that the President's dressing was changed on Sunday and that his wound is clean and is healing naturally, adding that the President was helped up and took a few steps.

    Dr. Kasios added that "generally the President's condition for his second post-operation day is very satisfactory".

    Responding to questions, Dr. Kasios said that the President would remain in the clinic for another 10 days at least and was "not in intensive care as of this moment".

    The part of the intestine, which was removed from the President's abdomen, has been sent for a biopsy and the results are expected on Monday.

    The President was admitted to the private clinic Tuesday for a medical check up and was kept for observation, after doctors located a polyp in his large intestine.

    [16] One Greek soldier listed as missing identified

    NICOSIA, 08/05/2000 (CNA/ANA)

    Over the past week, 15 persons, whose remains were exhumed last summer in two local cemeteries, have been identified through the DNA process. Of these persons, 14 are Cypriots war dead, killed during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and whose families knew they were dead, and one a military man from Greece, listed as missing during the invasion.

    Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, said here on Saturday that the relatives of the Cypriots have already been notified and that the Greek authorities would notify the family of the Greek military man.

    The Government has decided for the first time to make public the names of persons listed as missing since the invasion.

    Kasoulides said there was "no legal or moral reason" to keep this list confidential and that all citizens have the right to know which persons went missing during the invasion.

    A total of 1619 Greeks and Greek Cypriots were listed as missing during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, which resulted in the occupation of the northern third of the island.

    So far, three persons who were listed as missing have been identified. Two of them, Zinon Zinonos, who was 16 at the time of the invasion and was killed while helping a National Guardsman, and the Greek military man, whose name has not yet been publicized, were identified during the process of exhumation and identification of remains of missing and war dead, which started last Summer.

    The third, Andreas Kasapis, a US citizen of Greek descent who was 17 when he went missing, had been identified earlier.

    Kasoulides also referred to cabinet decisions to brief the families of 126 persons, whose names were on the missing persons' list, but whose files were not submitted to the Committee of Missing Persons for investigations. The Committee comprises one representative of the UN Secretary-General, one Greek Cypriot and one Turkish Cypriot.

    The briefing will comprise the content of the files of those missing persons and the reasons for which their names had not been submitted to the Committee of Missing Persons.

    Later on, the list of all persons who went missing during the invasion will be officially publicized and a list of all war dead will be prepared, in order to recognize the sacrifice of all those who gave their life for their country and to assist the general investigation of the fate of missing persons.

    Kasoulides reassured that "the years that have past since the days of our great tragedy" have increased "our determination in our struggle to find convincing answers to the great question regarding each one of our missing persons".

    Addressing an event on missing persons, organized Saturday night, Kasoulides said that almost 26 years have past from the "great crime against our country", noting that "the most painful wound remains open", as relatives of missing persons still do not know what became of their loved ones.

    Kasoulides said that the Turkish side has "ignored its international obligation to cooperate in investigating the fate of each missing person" and that its policy "lacks morality".


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