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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-01-19

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, January 19, 2000

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] SEVE HAILS DRACHMA'S REVALUATION
  • [02] FM TO VISIT ANKARA TOMORROW
  • [03] CONSUMER GROUP REVIEWS CENTURY'S ECONOMY
  • [04] DUTCH PM CONGRATULATES GREECE ON EU CONVERGENCE
  • [05] FUNERALS OF PHANTOM PILOTS TO BE HELD TODAY
  • [06] PM, DEFENSE AND ECONOMY MINISTERS MEET TOMORROW
  • [07] SECI BUREAU TO OPEN IN THESSALONIKI
  • [08] REPPAS COMMENTED ON THE EMU
  • [09] THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE CLOSED WITH LOSSES OF 3.26%
  • [10] MEETING OF THE BRITISH DEPUTY FOREIGN SECRETARY WITH THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTRY LEADERSHIP
  • [11] EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE TWO-DAY CONFERENCE
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [12] GREEK-CZECH MEMORANDUM ON BALKAN RECONSTRUCTION
  • [13] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH VARTOLOMEOS TO VISIT WARSAW
  • [14] EU Oks GREECE'S CONVERGENCE PROGRAM
  • [15] PMS OF ALBANIA, FYROM, MONTENEGRO APPEAL FOR AID
  • [16] THE MINISTER OF MACEDONIA-THRACE WILL BE IN SKOPJE TOMORROW
  • [17] THE DAMAGES ON THE PARTHENON MARBLES DISPLAYED IN A BRITISH MAGAZINE

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] SEVE HAILS DRACHMA'S REVALUATION

    The drachma's revaluation against the euro will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the economy, the Federation of Northern Greece Exporters (SEVE) stated yesterday, albeit pointing out that there would be a negative impact focusing mainly on exports and on lowering the competitiveness of Greek products and its tourism sector.

    However, the SEVE officials predicted that an expected improvement in the country's economic climate would counterbalance some of the negative impact in the long term.

    Specifically, SEVE stated that measures are needed to support Greek exports through a Third Community Support Framework program, while it also pointed out the necessity of drafting a national strategy on exports and marketing, financing of export-oriented companies, transport costs subsidies, technological development, restructuring of businesses and strengthened cooperation in the business sector.

    [02] FM TO VISIT ANKARA TOMORROW

    Minister of Foreign Affairs George Papandreou is to conduct a two-day visit to Turkey as of tomorrow, the first Foreign Minister who pays an official visit to Turkey since 1962.

    The Foreign Minister is expected to meet with Turkish President Suleyman Demirel, Parliament Speaker Yildirim Aktuna and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. Mr. Papandreou, who will be accompanied by a delegation of businessmen, parliamentarians, and journalists, will sign four bilateral agreements with his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem. The said agreements concern issues of environment, tourism, terrorism, and protection of investments. Mesrs. Papandreou and Cem are also expected to discuss the results of dialogue which started between the two countries last July, as well as bilateral relations.

    According to press reports, Mr. Papandreou will also travel to Istanbul where he will meet with Greek and Turkish businessmen.

    [03] CONSUMER GROUP REVIEWS CENTURY'S ECONOMY

    Greece's Consumer Association for the Quality of Life (EKPOIZO), has released a report portraying the economic and socioeconomic developments in Greece during the past century.

    According to the report, Greece's economy grew by 36 times during the past century, its industrial sector grew by 46 times, agricultural economy by 13 times, the provision of services by 50 times and the per capita income increased by 8.6 times.

    EKPOIZO reports that the respective economic growth on a global scale for the same period was much smaller: The economy increased by 18.5 times, industry by 36 times, agricultural economy by 7 times, services by 22 times, and the world per capita income by 4.9 times.

    Nevertheless, the country did not fare so well on the social front according to the data provided.

    In the period from 1900 to 2000, Greece's population grew only by 4.24 times, while cultural and educational trends were not moving at the same pace as economic trends.

    [04] DUTCH PM CONGRATULATES GREECE ON EU CONVERGENCE

    Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok congratulated the country on its efforts to converge with the European Union, speaking after his meeting with Premier Costas Simitis in Athens yesterday.

    Messrs. Simitis and Kok discussed European Union issues, Greece's prospective entry into the EU's economic and monetary union (EMU), and bilateral relations.

    Mr. Kok stated that "Greece finds itself very close to submitting its application for participation in the euro zone."

    Greece hopes to enter the 11-member euro zone on January 1, 2001.

    [05] FUNERALS OF PHANTOM PILOTS TO BE HELD TODAY

    The funerals of the two pilots aboard the ill-fated Phantom II Greek air force fighter plane, whose wreckage was discovered yesterday near the Parnassos mountain, will be held today.

    Flight lieutenant Efstratios Golias and flying officer Nikos Nezis will be buried in Athens at 3.30pm.

    The wreckage of the jet, which disappeared from radar screens on Monday, was discovered yesterday by a search-and-rescue helicopter in the Xerovounio area.

    [06] PM, DEFENSE AND ECONOMY MINISTERS MEET TOMORROW

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis will meet with Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos and National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou tomorrow, according to government spokesman Dimitris Reppas.

    The meeting will be held a day before the Government Council on Foreign Affairs and Defense (KYSEA) meets.

    KYSEA is expected to discuss the Hellenic Air Force's new five-year armaments program for the period 2001-2005, Greece's participation in the production of the Eurofighter, a final agreement for the purchase of more US-made F-16 fighter planes, as well as an agreement for the acquisition of French-made Mirage 2000-5 jetfighters and the upgrading of several of the air force's Mirage 2000s into Mirage 2000-5 fighters.

    [07] SECI BUREAU TO OPEN IN THESSALONIKI

    The Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI) is to open a bureau in Thessaloniki next week, in order to provide information and endeavor the encouragement of the private sector in the economic and social development of the Balkan region.

    Thessaloniki's facility, as well as two other bureaus to be opened in Istanbul and Venice, will operate under the auspices of SECI's Business Council which, during the years of its operation, has managed to attract leading investors from throughout Southeast Europe.

    The Chairman of the Northern Greece Industries Association (SVVE) (which will host SECI's bureau) Vasilis Takas stated that the office will serve as a "one stop shop" for firms and organizations, providing them with information and reports pertaining to both the private and public sectors.

    The SECI bureaus of Thessaloniki, Istanbul and Venice will feature a common web site on the Internet, although each office will specialize in one sector. For instance, Thessaloniki's bureau will focus on trade, transportation and telecommunications, Istanbul will deal with environmental and energy issues, while Venice's office will specialize in legal and financial issues that concern the development of small-to-medium sized firms.

    [08] REPPAS COMMENTED ON THE EMU

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas commenting on Greece's course to the EMU stated that hard work is still needed and that the government follows a policy of stability and development. The results are obvious, stated Mr. Reppas, adding that the pace followed is unprecedented in the European Union.

    Mr. Reppas also stated that the country now enjoys the fruits of the hard work, adding that all the problems will be faced through dialogue and social consensus.

    [09] THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE CLOSED WITH LOSSES OF 3.26%

    Big losses were recorded in today's session of the Athens Stock Exchange. The general index closed at 5.067,31 points with losses of 3.26%, while the volume of transactions was 305,2 billion drachmas.

    Strong pressures were exerted on the stock prices. The pressures were intense on all the categories of stocks and as a result all the secondary indexes closed with considerable losses.

    [10] MEETING OF THE BRITISH DEPUTY FOREIGN SECRETARY WITH THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTRY LEADERSHIP

    The British deputy foreign secretary responsible for European affairs, who is visiting Athens, had meetings today with Greek foreign minister and deputy foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou and Christos Rokofillos.

    In the talks dominated the European Union enlargement issues, while the British government official praised the stance of Greece on the issue of the Turkish EU candidature during the Helsinki EU Summit meeting.

    Mr. Rokofillos pointed out that if Turkey respects human rights and the rights of minorities its talks with the European Union will be facilitated.

    Mr. Rokofillos also had a meeting with EU Portuguese presidency special representative on Cyprus Leonardo Matias. The Greek deputy foreign minister in statements he made he was in favor of a solution for the Cyprus problem that will be based on a two-zone, two-community federation.

    [11] EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE TWO-DAY CONFERENCE

    A two-day conference on democratization and the implementation of the Stability Pact in south-eastern Europe will open in Thessaloniki tomorrow organized by the European Economic and Social Committee and the Royaumont procedure in cooperation with the Greek branch of the committee.

    The goal of the meeting is the exchange of views among representatives of different social and economic groups in Greece participating in the Royaumont procedure. The main topics of discussion will be the society of citizens and the social dialogue as the basis of the economic and social development, the regional economic and social structures modernization procedure and the means and procedures for the strengthening of the economic and social organizations in the countries of south-eastern Europe.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [12] GREEK-CZECH MEMORANDUM ON BALKAN RECONSTRUCTION

    A memorandum calling for cooperation in reconstruction projects in Southeastern Europe was recently signed in London by the Minister of Foreign Affairs George Papandreou and his Czech counterpart Jan Kavan.

    According to the memorandum, the two countries reaffirmed the excellent level of bilateral relations and stressed the wish to promote the development of friendly ties and close cooperation between the two countries in all fields, including economic cooperation.

    Specifically, the memorandum calls for "close collaboration in providing the most effective assistance possible to the economic entities in both States that wish to participate in the economic reconstruction and development of the conflict and war- stricken areas."

    In particular, both countries will exchange information on market opportunities for such enterprises and cooperate for the promotion of the business opportunities offered by the work of Stability Pact and the European Agency for Reconstruction.

    Moreover, both countries vowed to promote all activities of their respective Governments aimed at working out mechanisms in support of concrete cooperation between the Hellenic Republic and the Czech Republic in the reconstruction and development of the region of South Eastern Europe.

    "Such cooperation will be promoted through a joint Greek- Czech Board to be based in Thessaloniki under the auspices of the respective Ministers for Foreign Affairs who will chair the common sessions," the Memorandum reads, adding that the Board will be supported organizationally by the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace.

    The said Board is to establish a close working relationship with the Inter-Balkan and Black Sea Business Center (DIPEK).

    [13] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH VARTOLOMEOS TO VISIT WARSAW

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos is to embark on a three-day visit to Poland on Saturday.

    Mr. Vartholomeos will give a service with the Archbishop of Poland at the city's Orthodox Cathedral on Sunday, while he will speak at the Polish Parliament on Monday on the position of Orthodoxy in the modern world.

    During his stay, the Ecumenical Patriarch will also meet with President Aleksander Kwasiniewski, Prime Minister Jerzi Buzek and Parliament President Majiec Plazjmski who will host an official dinner in his honor.

    [14] EU Oks GREECE'S CONVERGENCE PROGRAM

    The European Commission adopted Greece's convergence program for 1999-2000 in Strasbourg yesterday, a step away from the coveted final approval by the Council of Finance ministers, which will meet on January 31.

    According to the European Council's report, Greece's economic policy is in correspondence with its goal for its entry to the European Monetary Union, albeit it advises a restrained salary policy.

    Speaking to the Macedonian Press Agency, Commissioner Pedro Solbes described the Greek convergence program as reliable, expressing his optimism that Greece's entry to the European Monetary Union will be ratified during the European Union summit meeting in Portugal in June. "Greece is going in the right direction," he said, adding "its government has taken all the necessary measures but their effect will have to be verified."

    [15] PMS OF ALBANIA, FYROM, MONTENEGRO APPEAL FOR AID

    The prime ministers of Albania, FYROM and Montenegro issued a joint appeal yesterday for more international help in integrating the western Balkans region in Europe.

    "The impression is that we are living in a small geographic area, but at the same time, we are distant from each other because of ... bad infrastructure," FYROM's Premier Ljubco Georgievski told a joint press conference.

    Mr. Georgievski met counterparts Ilir Meta of Albania and Filip Vujanovic of Montenegro in Ohrid for discussions on a stability pact in southeast Europe.

    The three said the international community must help improve transport links and other infrastructure to set the scene for better cooperation between their countries.

    Mr. Vujanovic said the meeting had also examined making access to Kosovo easier, while Mr. Meta said the ultimate aim of the three countries was to join European institutions.

    The three said their next meeting will be held in Tirana.

    [16] THE MINISTER OF MACEDONIA-THRACE WILL BE IN SKOPJE TOMORROW

    Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Yiannis Magriotis will visit FYROM tomorrow. Mr. Magriotis will represent the Greek government in the ceremony that will take place tomorrow morning on the occasion of the construction of the first 10 kilometers of the Skopje-Thessaloniki oil pipeline, while later he will inaugurate the Greek food industry plant "NIKAS" in the capital of FYROM.

    In the afternoon, Mr. Magriotis will attend the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Greek state television channel ET-3 and the FYROM state television.

    [17] THE DAMAGES ON THE PARTHENON MARBLES DISPLAYED IN A BRITISH MAGAZINE

    The damages suffered by the Parthenon Marbles as a result of the cleaning method used on them in 1937 were displayed in articles included in an extensive presentation of the British monthly magazine "The Art Newspaper".

    The presentation includes a review of the events that took place in the two-day conference on the Parthenon Marbles organized in the British Museum last November with the positions of both sides on the legal status of the marbles.

    A special emphasis was given to the fact that Dr. Ian Jenkins has admitted that the Parthenon Marbles suffered damages in the 30's, as well as to the dinner that was given by the British Museum in the room where the marbles were kept, the serious positions of the Greek side and the rude way in which Greek embassy press counselor Nikos Papadakis was forced to interrupt his speech and leave the podium.


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