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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-01-24

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 24, 2000

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] DEFENSE MINISTER RULES OUT EARLY ELECTIONS
  • [02] FYROM, GREECE DISCUSS OHRID LAKE
  • [03] "AGROTICA 2000" OPENS THIS WEEK
  • [04] CENTRAL GREECE'S FARMERS HOLD RALLY
  • [05] EX FM CRITICAL OF G/T DEVELOPMENTS
  • [06] INTERVENTION INTEREST RATES CUTS BY THE END OF THE WEEK
  • [07] LOSSES OF 0.4% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [08] GREEK-ARMENIAN TOBACCO PROCESSING COMPANY
  • [09] REPPAS ON THE GREEK FOREIGN POLICY
  • [10] THE "GRICO" DIALECT IN SOUTHERN ITALY
  • [11] ITALIANS PREFER THE GREEK POETRY AND THE GREEKS THE ITALIAN LITERATURE
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [12] GREEK FM MEETS WITH EU COUNTERPARTS
  • [13] EU SETS TERMS FOR FYROM'S ACCESSION
  • [14] PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN CROATIA TODAY
  • [15] GREEKS AND TURKS IN US ISSUE JOINT STATEMENT
  • [16] ALTERNATE FM AT SOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL
  • [17] EUROPEAN COMMISSION MONETARY COMMITTEE MEETING
  • [18] GREEK COMPANIES WILL BUILD A MEDICAL CENTER IN TIRANA
  • [19] TURKISH BANK BRANCH IN GREECE
  • [20] TWINNING OF THE CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE IN ATHENS AND ANKARA
  • [21] STRASBOURG: MEETING OF RELIGIONS' REPRESENTATIVES
  • [22] FYROM WILL RECOGNIZE CYPRUS
  • [23] THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE IS DEVELOPING RAPIDLY
  • [24] THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH WAS WELCOMED IN POLAND WITH GREAT HONORS

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] DEFENSE MINISTER RULES OUT EARLY ELECTIONS

    Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos has ruled out the possibility of early elections being held in the first half of 2000, and added that they will be held in accordance with the existing election law.

    Moreover, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos referred to Greek-Turkish relations and stated that Athens cannot discuss Ankara's unilateral demands, such as changing the status quo in the Aegean Sea and claims over "gray zones", as, according to international accords, these claims are illegal.

    However, the Defense Minister stressed that the two neighbors can discuss "low policy" issues, such as tourism, terrorism combat and economic cooperation.

    [02] FYROM, GREECE DISCUSS OHRID LAKE

    Officials from Greece and FYROM met in Ioannina over the weekend where they exchanged views on the Ohrid lake protection program.

    Representatives from FYROM's "Proakva" state agency exchanged views with the Greek officials in regards to waste issues and the lake's waters. The Greek officials outlined their experience concerning the application of European Union regulations in this sector.

    [03] "AGROTICA 2000" OPENS THIS WEEK

    The 16th International Exhibition of agricultural machinery, equipment and supplies, "Agrotica 2000," gets under way at the HELEXPO fairgrounds in Thessaloniki on Wednesday, January 26.

    Over 1,200 exhibitors are participating, 660 of whom are foreigners and represent 36 countries.

    Albania, Poland, Italy and Bulgaria are participating with official state pavilions.

    [04] CENTRAL GREECE'S FARMERS HOLD RALLY

    Farmers from central Greece's Thessaly area staged a rally at the central city of Larissa this afternoon.

    The protesters are opposed to the current EU agricultural policy, demanding higher prices for their products and more benefits.

    [05] EX FM CRITICAL OF G/T DEVELOPMENTS

    Former foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos slammed his successor George Papandreou for his handling of Greek-Turkish relations, accusing the current FM of having visited Turkey too soon.

    In his usual vociferous manner, Mr. Pangalos stated in an interview with the Flash radio station that in spite of Greece's acquiescence, Ankara did not budge from its known positions, as the Turkish FM Ismael Cem failed to make even one good will gesture, such as the re-opening of the Theological School at Halki, and the granting of a building permit to the Greek Embassy in Ankara.

    As for Mr. Papandreou, Mr. Pangalos stated that he should have set forth issues pertaining to human rights during his visit to Ankara, while he said that perhaps he should have visited Turkey at a later time, when the neighboring country would be ready to correspond.

    Mr. Papandreou's advisers did not escape Mr. Pangalos' wrath. The former foreign minister characterized them as "upstarts".

    Moreover, Mr. Pangalos stated that Greek-Turkish relations need to be discussed by the ruling PASOK party's Executive Bureau and Central Committee.

    [06] INTERVENTION INTEREST RATES CUTS BY THE END OF THE WEEK

    The Bank of Greece is expected to proceed with new cuts in the intervention interest rates by the end of the week.

    Meanwhile, according to press information, inflation in Greece is expected to close at 2.6% or 2.7% in January.

    [07] LOSSES OF 0.4% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    The week opened today in the Athens Stock Exchange with losses of 0.4% and the session closed at 5.081,95 points.

    The weakness of the general price index to follow an upward trend is being attributed to the absence of direction in the Athens Stock Exchange and the continuing liquidation of stocks for quick profits.

    [08] GREEK-ARMENIAN TOBACCO PROCESSING COMPANY

    An alliance in the tobacco processing sector is being formed by the Armenian-Canadian company Grand Tobacco and the Greek company Missirian. The two companies will form a joint venture which will be completed by May 2000 having as a main subject the export of processed tobacco products mainly to the Russian market.

    It should be noted that the investment is estimated at US$ 5 million for the current year, while the new company will create over 1.000-1.200 new jobs.

    [09] REPPAS ON THE GREEK FOREIGN POLICY

    The Greek foreign policy has been decided by the government and is being implemented within the framework of the Helsinki EU summit meeting, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, adding that the Helsinki decision was a positive development and the Greek-Turkish relations must proceed on a stable basis.

    On the trip of Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou to Istanbul and Ankara, he stressed that the visit was positive and constitutes a basis for the improvement of the Greek-Turkish relations adding however, that no one has the illusion that Turkey has changed its policy.

    [10] THE "GRICO" DIALECT IN SOUTHERN ITALY

    The geographic isolation, the marriage among the members of the community and the existence of Christian Orthodox monasteries are regarded as the main factors that contributed to the preservation of the "Grico", the Greek dialect spoken in the regions of Salento and Calabria, in southern Italy.

    The above will be mentioned by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Italian literature department PhD candidate Katerina Maniati in the presentation she will deliver in the 2nd Conference of Italian Studies under the title Italian Language and Literature in 2000 Europe, scheduled to be held in Thessaloniki on January 28- 30.

    The people living in the regions of Salento and Calabria refer to their language as "grico". In Calabria they say "Plateume grica" and in Salento "omilume grica" meaning "we speak Greek". The origin of "grico", according to the most dominant view expressed by German linguist Gerhard Rohlt, can be traced back to the ancient times when the first Greek colonies were founded in southern Italy in 750BC.

    [11] ITALIANS PREFER THE GREEK POETRY AND THE GREEKS THE ITALIAN LITERATURE

    Italians prefer the Greek poetry, while the Greeks show a preference to the Italian literature. Specifically, in the past few years there is an increased interest in Italy in the translations of Greek poetry mainly of works by Kavafis, Ritsos, Seferis and Elitis.

    In Greece, there is an increased interest in translations of Italian novelists since 1974, while the Italian poetry is hard to be translated into Greek and therefore such translations are very limited.

    The above were mentioned by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki associate professor and chairman of the Italian literature department Fivos Gigopoulos in a press conference given in Thessaloniki today on the occasion of the 2nd conference on Italian studies that will take place in the city on January 28-30. Mr. Gigopoulos used data that can be found in the book on "The fate of Italian literature in Greece", stressing that the Italian language comes third in the preference of the Greeks after English and French.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [12] GREEK FM MEETS WITH EU COUNTERPARTS

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou is to meet with his European Union counterparts in Brussels today, where the talks will center on the outcome of his contacts in Ankara last week.

    Concurrently, the EU's Monetary Council will also convene today in order to formulate its final recommendation to ECOFIN, which is to approve Greece's revised convergence plan on January 31.

    [13] EU SETS TERMS FOR FYROM'S ACCESSION

    FYROM's readiness to enter into cooperative and good neighborly relations with other countries of the region, and especially Greece (which would also mean the resolution of the name issue pending between the two countries), is one of the conditions set forth by the European Union in the development of relations with Skopje, i.e. the latter's association with the EU.

    Moreover, the European Commission has stated that FYROM's Association negotiations will move forward only when the said country proceeds to the necessary concessions on key matters concerning its present domestic and foreign policies.

    The European Council is expected today to grant the European Commission with the mandate to proceed to negotiations with FYROM towards an association with the European Union.

    [14] PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN CROATIA TODAY

    Voting got underway this morning in Croatia, where presidential elections are being held following the death of incumbent president Franjo Tudjman in December. The major contenders are Stipe Mesic, Drazen Budisa and outgoing Foreign Minister Mate Granic all of whom have vowed to call for restriction of the president's powers.

    Mesic is deputy chairman of the Croatian People's Party and a candidate of a coalition of four centrist parties. He was the presidium chairman of Yugoslavia before its break-up in 1991.

    Budisa is leader of the Croatian Social-Liberal Party. His party defeated the Croatian Democratic Alliance in coalition with the Social Democratic Party in parliamentary elections on January 3, winning 71 seats in the 150-member parliament.

    Granic was nominated by the Croatian Democratic Alliance.

    If no candidate wins 50 per cent of votes plus one vote in the first round, two runners with the highest votes will go in the runoff to be held on February.

    [15] GREEKS AND TURKS IN US ISSUE JOINT STATEMENT

    On the occasion of recent actions taken by Greece and Turkey in furthering bilateral relations, expatriated Greeks and Turks in the United States issued a joint statement complimenting the efforts of their homelands.

    Greek-American leaders Andrew A. Athens, World President of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) and Andrew E. Manatos, President of the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH), who together launched an "Initiative for Peace" in 1998; and Turkish-American leader Tolga Cubukcu, President of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA), signed a statement that read as follows:

    "We strongly support recent efforts by Greece and Turkey to take significant steps forward to improve bilateral relations. We are particularly pleased by developments in recent days."

    Moreover, they wrote that "we are also pleased that during this visit Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit invited his Greek counterpart, Prime Minister Costas Simitis, to visit Turkey."

    [16] ALTERNATE FM AT SOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL

    Alternate Foreign Minister Christos Rokofyllos is presently in Portugal, where he us representing Prime Minister Costas Simitis at the meeting of the Socialist International's presidium.

    Mr. Simitis is one of the vice-presidents of the Socialist International.

    The Socialist International has decided to begin a crusade for the abolition of the death penalty, for the protection of the political, social and economic rights of individuals, for the protection of the environment and for the employment conditions of women around the globe.

    The European Union's General Affairs Council meeting is also being held in Portugal today, the first held under the Portuguese EU presidency.

    Mr. Rokofyllos will conduct talks with the Slovak government in Bratislava tomorrow.

    [17] EUROPEAN COMMISSION MONETARY COMMITTEE MEETING

    Recommendations to Greece to continue its tight revenue policy and strict wage policy and to speed-up the planned privatization and the changes in the social security system will be included in the report of the European Commission monetary committee that meets in Brussels today.

    The report will be presented to the finance ministers council which next Monday will ratify the reviewed convergence program proposed by Greece.

    [18] GREEK COMPANIES WILL BUILD A MEDICAL CENTER IN TIRANA

    A modern diagnostic center will be built in Tirana soon, according to the Albanian newspaper "Gazetta Skiptare".

    This important project in the sector of health, with an estimated cost of several millions of dollars, has been undertaken by the Greek company "Athens Medical Center" and the insurance company "Interamerican" in cooperation with the Albanian company "Areks".

    According to the newspaper, the cost for the care of the patients will be undertaken by "Interamerican" as it will offer insurance coverage to the Albanian citizens.

    [19] TURKISH BANK BRANCH IN GREECE

    Turkey considers the opening of a Turkish bank branch in Greece after the announcement that a branch of the National Bank of Greece will open in Istanbul.

    The opening of the National Bank of Greece branch was announced by its president Theodoros Karatzas in the meeting of Greek and Turkish businessmen that was held in Istanbul recently. According to the Turkish newspaper "Sabah", the branch will open in order to back the investments of Greek businessmen to Turkey.

    [20] TWINNING OF THE CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE IN ATHENS AND ANKARA

    The twinning of the Athens Chamber of Commerce with that of Ankara will take place soon. The Turkish foreign ministry has already given its written permission for the materialization of this initiative, while according to the Turkish newspaper "Sabah", the move by Ankara's Chamber of Commerce has won the enthusiastic support of the Athens Chamber of Commerce.

    The twinning will take place possibly on April 21-23 and for this purpose about 150 Turkish businessmen will visit Athens. The visit will be returned by Greek businessmen who will be in Turkey next fall.

    [21] STRASBOURG: MEETING OF RELIGIONS' REPRESENTATIVES

    Representatives of the Christian, Jewish and Muslim religions will have a series of meetings in Strasbourg in view of the ecumenical conference scheduled to take place in the spring.

    The meetings will focus in principle on reaching an agreement aimed at developing a joint strategy and organization for the safeguarding and management of religious places within the relevant program undertaken by the Council of Europe.

    Among the issues discussed will be the contribution of Churches and religious communities in the efforts made to deal effectively with the smuggling of cultural goods on which the Council of Europe has drawn up a special accord and is planning to hold a forum next May to discuss ways of cooperation among the different religions.

    [22] FYROM WILL RECOGNIZE CYPRUS

    FYROM's foreign minister Alexander Dimitrov confirmed recent press reports according to which, his country will open diplomatic relations with Cyprus without defining the exact date of the formal announcement on this decision.

    According to Skopje's newspaper "Vetser". Mr. Dimitrov stated that FYROM's foreign policy is directed toward forming diplomatic relations with as many states as possible and therefore, with Cyprus.

    On the expected reactions of Turkey to such a decision, Mr. Dimitrov stated that it is not certain that there will be any reactions. Turkish ambassador to Skopje Mustafa Fasli Kesmir gave the assurance that Ankara will not be involved in case the FYROM government decides to open diplomatic relations with Cyprus.

    [23] THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE IS DEVELOPING RAPIDLY

    The Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad refers to the rapid development of the Athens Stock Exchange. According to the report, about 1.2 million Greek families have invested in stocks and the stock market is the main topic of discussion in the everyday life of the Greeks.

    It also clarified that the total value of the capital invested in the Athens Stock Exchange is 160-200% of the GDP, adding that the investments in stocks have increased the purchasing power of the Greeks.

    The newspaper mentions that the general price index in the Athens Stock Exchange increased by 90% in 1998 and 1999 and that the main factor behind the rapid growth was the dynamic effort made by the Greek government in order to win the entry of the country into the European Economic and Monetary Union, EMU.

    [24] THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH WAS WELCOMED IN POLAND WITH GREAT HONORS

    The important place of the Christian Orthodox faith in the united Europe with the presence of the eastern European countries in it, was stressed by Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos in the meeting he had with Polish president Aleksander Kwasnievski and prime minister Jierzi Buzek

    In the talks which were held in a warm and friendly atmosphere in Warsaw, the president and the prime minister of Poland assured the Ecumenical Patriarch that the Polish Christian Orthodox Church, which numbers 800.000 faithful, has their total protection and care.


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