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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-05-03

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, May 3, 1999

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] THESSALONIKI HOSTS EXPATRIATE GREEK MEDIA CONFERENCE
  • [02] YUGOSLAV DELEGATION TO MEET WITH N. GREECE BUSINESSMEN
  • [03] ECONOMIC CONFERENCE HELD ON "DAY AFTER" KOSOVO CONFLICT
  • [04] GREEK GOVERNMENT SALUTES WORLD PRESS DAY
  • [05] EXPATRIATE GREEK JOURNALISTS SALUTE PRESS FREEDOM DAY
  • [06] FIRE RAGES THROUGH MT. OLYMPUS, ENGULFING MANY ACRES
  • [07] REV. JACKSON TELLS GREEK PRESS: WE NEED TO TRUST MILOSEVIC
  • [08] NEW POLL FINDS RULING PARTY HAVING CLIMBED NOTCHES UP
  • [09] NATO CONVOYS WITH MILITARY SUPPLIES HAVE LEFT FOR SKOPJE
  • [10] REPPAS: GREECE OFFERS SECURITY
  • [11] REPPAS: THE RELEASE OF THE THREE US SOLDIERS IS A VERY POSITIVE ACTION
  • [12] PAPANTONIOU MET WITH BUSINESSMEN AND BANKERS
  • [13] EXTREMIST INTERVENTIONS SUCH AS THE BLOCKADES OF PORTS HARM GREECE'S PICTURE
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [14] US PRESIDENT TO MEET WITH CHERNOMYRDIN IN WASHINGTON
  • [15] NATO REIGN DEEPENS, DARKNESS FALLS ON BELGRADE
  • [16] GREEK TRANSPORTATION MINISTER AT FYROM TODAY
  • [17] GREEK PRESIDENT TO PAY VISIT TO ARMENIA ON MAY 11-13
  • [18] GREEK PRESIDENT TO PAY OFFICIAL VISIT TO GEORGIA ON MAY 10
  • [19] UNESCO FIGHTS IMPUNITY OF CRIMES AGAINST JOURNALISTS
  • [20] MPA PARTICIPATES IN HERMES TRADE EXPO THIS WEEK IN NEW YORK
  • [21] TALBOT: CLINTON-MILOSEVIC MEETING IS UNLIKELY
  • [22] HAROLD PINTER IS AGAINST THE BOMBING OF YUGOSLAVIA
  • [23] CHERNOMIRDIN: THE TALKS WITH CLINTON ARE IMPORTANT
  • [24] ECEVIT RECEIVED THE MANDATE TO FORM A GOVERNMENT
  • [25] THE RAMBOUILLET AGREEMENT WOULD HAVE BROUGHT THE OCCUPATION OF YUGOSLAVIA, WRITES "LE MONDE"
  • [26] YUGOSLAVIA'S APPEAL AGAINST NATO WILL BE SUBMITTED TO THE HAGUE TODAY
  • [27] THE LEADERSHIP OF THE GREEK MINISTRY OF TRANSPORTATION IS ON A VISIT TO SKOPJE
  • [28] NATO BOMBED ANOTHER BUS TODAY KILLING 10 PEOPLE

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] THESSALONIKI HOSTS EXPATRIATE GREEK MEDIA CONFERENCE

    The first Greek Expatriate Mass Media Conference got underway in Thessaloniki yesterday, featuring the participation of Greek political leaders, academics, journalists and others. Macedonia-Thrace Minister Yiannis Magriotis addressed the conference and stated that Greece had given a warning to all international organizations that the war in Yugoslavia was not ethically just and did not create the preconditions for a long-term co- existence of peoples.

    World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) President Andrew Athens also addressed the participants and stated that he had noted the absence of a Serb lobby in the United States, which could have promoted the stance of the Serbs.

    The four-day event is being held under the auspices of Greece's Ministry of Press and Media, Foreign Affairs and SAE, while it also has the support of the Macedonia-Thrace Ministry and the prefecture of Thessaloniki.

    [02] YUGOSLAV DELEGATION TO MEET WITH N. GREECE BUSINESSMEN

    A delegation from the Economic Chamber of Yugoslavia is to be in Thessaloniki on Wednesday, May 5, for a meeting with businessmen from northern Greece, in order to review the damages suffered by the sector from the conflict in Kosovo.

    Among the subjects to be discussed will be the difficulties faced by Greek manufacturers and businessmen who are active in Yugoslavia.

    The participants will brief one another on the consequences of the war, not only borne on the Greek businesses active in the neighboring country, but in Northern Greece's tourism industry and exporting - transporting ventures.

    [03] ECONOMIC CONFERENCE HELD ON "DAY AFTER" KOSOVO CONFLICT

    The consequences borne on the Greek economy by the war in Kosovo are to be addressed in an economic conference today, hosted by the National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and which will feature the participation of forty-nine representatives from the country's banking and business sectors.

    The participants will discuss the impact of the military operations in Yugoslavia and the plans for economic restructuring of the region after the crisis. Among those expected to attend the meeting are National Bank of Greece, Commercial Bank of Greece, Alpha Credit Bank, EFG Eurobank, Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, Bank of Piraeus, Thrace Paperworks, Delta Dairy, Asprofos, Medical Center, Intracom, the Federation of Greek Industries and chambers of commerce and industry.

    Undersecretary of National Economy Alexandros Baltas is chairing the government delegation.

    [04] GREEK GOVERNMENT SALUTES WORLD PRESS DAY

    The Minister of Press and Media, and government spokesperson, Dimitris Reppas conveyed Greece's undivided support and appreciation for journalists and stressed the importance of a non- aligned and independent media.

    Mr. Reppas said that by being independent, journalists will make a decisive contribution in shaping the public's objective opinion and, ultimately, further strengthening the democratic nature of public and political life.

    The Press Minister also added that there can be no constitutional freedom without freedom of the press, adding that the press does not merely carry out an informative function, but contributes substantively to the application of democracy, representing one of its components.

    [05] EXPATRIATE GREEK JOURNALISTS SALUTE PRESS FREEDOM DAY

    By observing a moment of silence in memory of those journalists who lost their lives while on duty, the First Conference of the Federation of Expatriate Greek Journalists opened its second session this morning in Thessaloniki honoring the World Press Freedom Day.

    In a written statement, the Federation's chairman Dimitris Kastanas referred to the recent bombardment of the Yugoslav television station in Belgrade and said that the attack constitutes a severe blow to the freedom of press and information, as it escapes all military and political boundaries.

    "This tactic cannot be justified. Alas, if each time propaganda is detected media are bombarded or journalists killed.

    "This act constitutes the most abhorrent form of terrorist action and every journalist, especially in the United States, has a duty to resist and fight against these types of military actions and mentalities that lead us to the Dark Ages.

    "Propaganda cannot be addressed with violence, but, rather, through alternative methods of information.

    The resort to violence implies inability and fear of dealing with the heart of the problem," he said.

    [06] FIRE RAGES THROUGH MT. OLYMPUS, ENGULFING MANY ACRES

    Locals have joined the firefighters in a frantic effort to contain the fire that has been raging at Mt. Olympus since yesterday afternoon.

    The fire, whose cause remains unknown, broke out in a forested area at an altitude of 1,800 meters. The region is accessed with difficulty and the firefighters need to travel great distances in order to approach the blaze.

    [07] REV. JACKSON TELLS GREEK PRESS: WE NEED TO TRUST MILOSEVIC

    The Rev. Jesse Jackson, who successfully mediated for the release of the three U.S. soldiers held captive in Yugoslavia by Serb forces, told a Greek newspaper that the time has come for a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Yugoslavia.

    "We need to be willing to see with our own eyes that Milosevic is ready to proceed to negotiations. Peace must be given a chance and we should not continue the war, for the sake of war," he told the Athens daily Eleftherotypia.

    Commending on Greece's stance towards the crisis, the Reverend stated that the country made a effort to break the chain of violence, but, it is a member of NATO and participates in its decisions.

    [08] NEW POLL FINDS RULING PARTY HAVING CLIMBED NOTCHES UP

    An impressive shift has taken place in the public's opinion of the ruling PASOK party as, according to the most recent poll, its popularity climbed to 25.6%, considerably higher than January's 13.8%.

    According to the Athens daily Ta Nea, Prime Minister Costas Simitis is also enjoying an increased amount of support, since his popularity has shot up to 45.1%, as opposed to January's 24.8 percent.

    While the popularity of the main opposition party's leader (New Democracy's Costas Karamanlis) is also upward-bound, 64.2 percent of those polled responded that the government should fulfill its four-year term regardless of the European Parliament's imminent election results.

    When asked to find who is the fittest for the country's premiership post, 36.6 percent of those polled favored Mr. Simitis, with 33.9 percent opting for Mr. Karamanlis, although the latter's popularity (46.1%) has a slight edge over the Premier's.

    The leader of the Left Coalition (Synaspismos), Nikos Kostantopoulos remains at the top of the scale with 57.8% , followed by the Democratic and Social Movement (DIKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas who amassed 50.4% in his favor.

    [09] NATO CONVOYS WITH MILITARY SUPPLIES HAVE LEFT FOR SKOPJE

    Two long NATO convoys of trucks carrying military supplies left Thessaloniki in a tense atmosphere today destined for FYROM. The supplies had arrived at the port of Thessaloniki with NATO ships in the past four days.

    The first convoy of 92 trucks, smaller vehicles and containers left in the early morning hours today and was followed by a second convoy made up of 96 trucks carrying supplies for the French and British forces in FYROM.

    Groups of demonstrators attempted to block the port's exit gate during the convoys' departure and police had to intervene in order to remove the protesters.

    [10] REPPAS: GREECE OFFERS SECURITY

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, when asked to comment on the contents of the US State Department report on terrorism in Greece, stated that the cooperation of the Greek agencies with the corresponding US agencies in order to counter terrorism is a proof of the efforts made by Greece to deal with the issue.

    Mr. Reppas pointed out that Greece is a country that offers security and its democratic institutions are functioning.

    [11] REPPAS: THE RELEASE OF THE THREE US SOLDIERS IS A VERY POSITIVE ACTION

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas expressed regret for the bombings of unarmed civilians by NATO in Yugoslavia. He added that the Greek government participates in the efforts for a peaceful solution in Kosovo and said that events such as the recent attack on a bus full of people make the efforts for a peaceful solution imperative.

    Mr. Reppas characterized the release of the three US soldiers, that was decided by Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, as a very positive action.

    [12] PAPANTONIOU MET WITH BUSINESSMEN AND BANKERS

    Minister of national economy and finance Yiannos Papantoniou had a meeting today with representatives of companies, bankers and presidents of trade organizations. They examined the effects the war in Yugoslavia has on the Greek economy.

    Mr. Papantoniou requested an evaluation of the overall cost and expressed Greece's intention to ask for the assistance of the European Union in order to overcome the economic consequences of the war. The meeting was attended by Greek Industries Association chairman Iason Stratos, National Bank of Greece governor Mr. Karatzas and Alpha Credit Bank president Mr. Kostopoulos.

    [13] EXTREMIST INTERVENTIONS SUCH AS THE BLOCKADES OF PORTS HARM GREECE'S PICTURE

    Ministry of mass media and press general secretary Yiannis Nikolaou, who attended the Thessaloniki conference of the Federation of Greek Journalists living abroad, characterized actions such as blockades of ports, occupation of airports and statements like the one made by the prefect of Chania in Crete, who declared US ambassador Nicholas Burns as a persona non grata, as extremist interventions that harm the picture of Greece abroad. He also pointed out that it is the inalienable right of the Greek citizens to have their own opinion.

    Mr. Nikolaou also said that the ministry of mass media and press will launch a campaign by the end of May aimed at boosting Greece's image abroad. This campaign will take place in the United States, France and Britain and will last a year, while it is estimated to cost 1 billion drachmas.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [14] US PRESIDENT TO MEET WITH CHERNOMYRDIN IN WASHINGTON

    United States President Bill Clinton is to meet with the Russian President's special envoy for Yugoslavia Viktor Chernomyrdin in Washington, in an effort to reach a political solution to the crisis plaguing Kosovo.

    President Clinton will also receive Rev. Jesse Jackson who is making a triumphant return to the U.S. after having successfully mediated for the release of the three U.S. soldiers held captive by Serb forces.

    During his departure from Belgrade, Rev. Jackson asked President Clinton to accept the proposal made by Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic that they meet for direct talks.

    [15] NATO REIGN DEEPENS, DARKNESS FALLS ON BELGRADE

    NATO aircraft destroyed the entire power supply system of Serbia when, in a nightly air raid, they bombed a power station south of Belgrade.

    Although electricity has been restored in most areas of Serbia, where television and radio stations went off air for a long period of time, while hospitals had to resort to their emergency power generators.

    [16] GREEK TRANSPORTATION MINISTER AT FYROM TODAY

    Greece's Minister of Transportation Tasos Mantelis and the Ministry's Undersecretary are to meet with FYROM's President Kiro Gligorov during their two-day visit to Skopje.

    Mr. Mantelis is heading a delegation of officials from Greece's public and private enterprises, as well as deputies, in an effort to promote bilateral cooperation in the sectors of communications and transportation, aiming at the region's development and stability.

    [17] GREEK PRESIDENT TO PAY VISIT TO ARMENIA ON MAY 11-13

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos will pay an official visit to Armenia on May 11-13 at the invitation of the republic's leadership.

    Before arriving in Armenia the President will make an official visit to Georgia.

    While in Tbilisi, he will meet Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze, the parliament speaker and the foreign minister to discuss further development of cooperation between the two countries and regional issues.

    [18] GREEK PRESIDENT TO PAY OFFICIAL VISIT TO GEORGIA ON MAY 10

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos is to conduct a two-day official visit to Georgia on May 10, the first visit by a Greek president to Georgia after the Caucasian republic became independent.

    The President will meet with his Georgian counterpart Eduard Shevardnadze, parliamentary speaker Zurab Zhvania, Foreign Minister Irakly Menangarishvili and other officials.

    Discussions will focus on issues of further development of cooperation between the two countries, as well as regional problems.

    [19] UNESCO FIGHTS IMPUNITY OF CRIMES AGAINST JOURNALISTS

    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is celebrating the World Press Freedom Day under the slogan of "Struggle against the impunity of crimes against journalists."

    This Day was instituted by the UNESCO General Conference on May 3, 1991, coinciding with the adoption of the Windhoek Declaration, and is dedicated to informing the public about violations of the freedom of the expression of opinions.

    This year's main theme is violence against journalists; in many countries, killings, assaults and threats are methods used to muzzle journalists and, in most cases, those crimes go unpunished.

    According to UNESCO, at least 20 journalists were killed in 1998 while on the job, while 500 journalists have been killed in recent years. Innumerable instances of violence, such as unfounded arrests, threats, attacks, persecution and even tortures are added to the list.

    This problem prompted UNESCO member-states, at the latest General Conference in November 1998, to approve a resolution calling for accepting the principle of non-application of the statute of limitations to crimes perpetrated for the purpose of preventing the exercise of the right to the freedom of information.

    U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, UNESCO Director-General Federico Mayor, and High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson are to gather in Bogota, Colombia, today, in order to bestow on Jesus Blancornelas, Mexican journalist and publisher, UNESCO's World Prize for contribution to the press freedom cause.

    [20] MPA PARTICIPATES IN HERMES TRADE EXPO THIS WEEK IN NEW YORK

    The Macedonian Press Agency is to participate at the 7th Annual Business Development Trade Show and Exhibition in the United States (Hermes Expo International 1999) , to be held on May 7-8 at the New York Hilton.

    The event is expected to give the opportunity to Greeks living on both sides of the Atlantic to consolidate their communication channels.

    This marks the first the MPA has the opportunity to take part in such an organized show, which will illustrate the agency's multifaceted activities in the media sector, and especially its singular commitment to the Greek community abroad.

    This year's event will also feature the participation of ventures from Albania, Romania and other Balkan countries.

    Greece's Undersecretary of Sports Andreas Fouras will inaugurate the event and has expressed the hope that the participation of the General Secretariat of Sports and representatives of the Greek business sector will contribute to the further advancement of Greek products and services in the U.S., as well as to the promotion of Greece's sports infrastructure, especially in light of the Athens-held Olympic Games of 2004.

    The Archbishop of America Spyridon will also attend the inauguration ceremony.

    Greek businesses interested in serving the needs of the Greek American community and establishing an initial strong foothold in the massive American market, the exhibition is certainly worth attending as a number of joint-venture seminars will be held, which can provide fertile ground for such investments.

    [21] TALBOT: CLINTON-MILOSEVIC MEETING IS UNLIKELY

    US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott believes that a meeting between US President Bill Clinton and President of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic is unlikely, as he said in an interview with the CBS television station yesterday.

    The head of the US administration is unlikely to be particularly willing to meet the Yugoslav leader, Mr. Talbott noted, adding that he was unaware of the US president's intentions to that effect, although he strongly doubted the possibility of the meeting.

    The US does not wish to conduct talks with Mr. Milosevic directly, but prefers to act with the mediation of third countries, including Russia, Mr. Talbott noted.

    He pointed out that Mr. Milosevic' message to President Clinton allegedly containing a proposal for a meeting looks very much like a "propagandist trick."

    NATO has made it clear what we can do to stop the conflict right away. Above all, Belgrade shall have to comply with the proposals put forward by NATO, he said, adding that President Clinton will stop the bombardments only if Mr. Milosevic agrees to these terms.

    [22] HAROLD PINTER IS AGAINST THE BOMBING OF YUGOSLAVIA

    Famous playwright Harold Pinter in an article published by the British newspaper "Telegraph" yesterday expressed his opposition to the policy followed by the Blair government and NATO on the crisis in Kosovo.

    In an article under the headline "We are thieves, guilty of murder", part of which was broadcast by the BBC radio service, the British author condemns the NATO bombings and referring to the reaction of the British public opinion, he said that the British have accepted 40 days of bombings without asking many questions. Influenced by the horror pictures of the refugees the British were quick to respond to the calls for assistance and backed the bombings. But the politicians and the army knew that the NATO air raids would create a wave of refugees. They did not need the spy satellites in order to know that Voiclav Seseli had stated in the Yugoslav parliament since last October that all the ethnic Albanians would disappear from Kossovo with the first bomb on Yugoslavia.

    Harold Pinter is a co-producer of the documentary "Counter Blast" which will be broadcast by the BBC television tomorrow and in his article promises that it will reveal that the Clinton government was backing the ethnic cleansing policy in Yugoslavia in 1995.

    [23] CHERNOMIRDIN: THE TALKS WITH CLINTON ARE IMPORTANT

    Russian president special envoy Victor Chernomirdin characterized as important the talks he will have with US president Bill Clinton in Washington to whom he will deliver a letter by the Russian president for the solution of the crisis in Kosovo.

    Reverent Jesse Jackson will also meet with the US president at the White House to deliver a letter by Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic. In an interview, Mr. Jackson stated that the time has come for a diplomatic solution in Yugoslavia and "we should be willing to see with our own eyes that the Yugoslav president is ready to proceed with negotiations".

    [24] ECEVIT RECEIVED THE MANDATE TO FORM A GOVERNMENT

    Caretaker prime minister Bulent Ecevit received the mandate by Turkish president Suleiman Demirel today to form a government.

    The most likely scenario, according to political analysts, is that Ecevit will form a coalition government with the Nationalist Action Party of the extreme right and the centrist Motherland party of Mesut Yilmaz.

    [25] THE RAMBOUILLET AGREEMENT WOULD HAVE BROUGHT THE OCCUPATION OF YUGOSLAVIA, WRITES "LE MONDE"

    The sovereignty of Yugoslavia would have been in danger if Belgrade had accepted the Rambouillet agreement, according to the French newspaper "Le Monde".

    "Le Monde" published yesterday parts of the Rambouillet peace agreement text and pointed out that the proposed agreement in reality was a secret NATO plan behind which was hidden Yugoslavia's occupation.

    "Le Monde" points out that certain parts of the agreement were not revealed and were not presented to the Yugoslav and the Albanian delegations neither during the peace talks in Rambouillet nor later in Paris.

    [26] YUGOSLAVIA'S APPEAL AGAINST NATO WILL BE SUBMITTED TO THE HAGUE TODAY

    The representatives of Serbia will submit to the prosecutor general of the International Court of Justice in The Hague their appeal against NATO member-states participating in the air operations against Yugoslavia.

    According to the Yugoslav news agency Tanjug, the appeal is accompanied by evidence and by the signatures of 15.000 Yugoslav citizens.

    The decision to bring before justice the NATO members that participate in the bombing of Yugoslavia had been made by the federal government of Yugoslavia on April 25. Those countries are accused of using force against a sovereign state, of violating the sovereignty of this state, of not respecting the decision to protect the unarmed civilians and non military targets and of violating the basic rights and freedoms of the people.

    [27] THE LEADERSHIP OF THE GREEK MINISTRY OF TRANSPORTATION IS ON A VISIT TO SKOPJE

    The leadership of the Greek ministry of transportation and communication that left by train from Thessaloniki this morning, headed by minister Tasos Mandelis, will meet in Skopje tomorrow with FYROM president Kiro Gligorov and prime minister Ljupco Georgievski.

    The governments of Greece and FYROM want to place bilateral cooperation in the sectors of transportation and communication on a new basis in order to create the pre-conditions for economic development and stability in the region.

    The Greek strategic goals for cooperation with FYROM are: the development of a passenger railway and road network linking Thessaloniki with Skopje, the speedy construction of road axis X on FYROM territory, the development of a freight freeway, less red tape at the border crossings, postal service cooperation and finally, the Greek government will seek the FYROM support for the establishment of an Upper Air Space Management Center in the Balkans based in Thessaloniki.

    On the telecommunications sector, bilateral relations are developing positively. The digital cable link between Florina and Bitola using fiber optics technology is already in operation, while the link of Kilkis with Gevgeli is at its final stage before operation.

    However, the Greek interest is mainly focused on the privatization of FYROM's National Telecommunications Organization as the Greek State Telecommunications Organization, OTE, aims at purchasing 1/3 of its company share.

    [28] NATO BOMBED ANOTHER BUS TODAY KILLING 10 PEOPLE

    NATO fighter jets bombed a bus in the region of Savina Boda in Kossovo early this afternoon. According to initial information, the bus was hit by a missile killing 10 people, mainly women and children.

    The rescue crews can not approach the region, about 20 kilometers from Pec, as the bombings continue.


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