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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-02-09

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, February 9, 2000

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] PRESIDENT RE-ELECTED TO SECOND CONSECUTIVE TERM
  • [02] PM: STEPHANOPOULOS IS A SYMBOL OF UNITY, CONSENSUS
  • [03] PRESIDENT-ELECT VOWS TO UPHOLD DEMOCRATIC VALUES
  • [04] NEW DEMOCRACY TO HOLD CONFERENCE ON BALKANS
  • [05] FMs OF GREECE, TURKEY, BULGARIA TO MEET IN THRACE
  • [06] ASIA FORUM, A SUBSTANTIAL STEP IN EURASIAN VENTURES
  • [07] POLL PACES POLITICIANS' POPULARITY
  • [08] GREEK INVESTMENTS IN GEORGIA ON THE RISE
  • [09] THE GREEK UNDERSECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS TO UKRAINE
  • [10] THE MAYOR OF ATHENS ANNOUNCES THIS EVENING IF HE WILL RUN IN THE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS
  • [11] GAINS OF 0.79% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [12] REPPAS ON THE RE-ELECTION OF STEPHANOPOULOS TO THE PRESIDENCY
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [13] PREFECTS OF ALBANIA, W. MACEDONIA MEET IN KORCA
  • [14] SAE IS ONE OF GREECE'S BEST INVESTMENTS
  • [15] GREEK BUSINESS DELEGATION ON MISSION TO SYDNEY
  • [16] THE VOLUME OF GOODS TRANSPORTED BY TRAIN ACROSS THE GREEK- FYROM BORDERS HAS INCREASED
  • [17] BRITISH "NO" TO THE UN TREATY ON THE RETURN OF WORKS OF ART
  • [18] GREEK-EGYPTIAN JOINT VENTURE
  • [19] CLERIDES RETURNS TO CYPRUS FROM GENEVA TODAY
  • [20] THE EU WELCOMES THE FREEZING OF THE DEATH PENALTY IN THE US STATE OF ILLINOIS

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] PRESIDENT RE-ELECTED TO SECOND CONSECUTIVE TERM

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos was easily re-elected to a second consecutive five-year term by Parliament yesterday evening, with 269 deputies voting in his favor.

    One hundred and sixty-one ruling PASOK and 101 main opposition New Democracy (ND) deputies cast their ballot for the incumbent President in the roll-call vote, while seven independent deputies also voted in his favor.

    Ten deputies from the minor opposition Coalition of the Left and Progress voted for leftist politician Leonidas Kyrkos, while 11 Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and eight Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) deputies simply declared themselves present. Two ND deputies were absent.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos's election marks the first time a head of state has been re-elected to a second consecutive term since the restoration of Greece's democracy in 1974, as well as another Parliamentary first: nomination by both major parties in the 300- member Parliament.

    [02] PM: STEPHANOPOULOS IS A SYMBOL OF UNITY, CONSENSUS

    Saluting the incumbent President Costis Stephanopoulos' re- election to a second consecutive term, Prime Minister Costas Simitis stated that the event reflects the maturity of the country's political system, given this unprecedented feat since the restoration of democracy in Greece in 1974.

    "I feel proud," Mr. Simitis stated, "because through our political choice we contributed to the essential and symbolic establishment of consensus, as well as to the improved operation of our political system. By having supported the incumbent President of the Republic since his first term, and having undertaken the initiative for his nomination, we are especially pleased to salute his re-election."

    Moreover, the Premier pointed out that Mr. Stephanopoulos has achieved precisely what the constitution calls for, that is, to function as a symbol and representative of unity among the Greeks.

    [03] PRESIDENT-ELECT VOWS TO UPHOLD DEMOCRATIC VALUES

    Upon receiving the news of his re-election to a second consecutive term as head of state from the President of the Hellenic Parliament, as custom calls for, incumbent President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos thanked the Parliament and vowed to exert every possible effort so as to fulfill the Greek people's expectations.

    Moreover, the temperate President-elect referred to the significance of the Greek Parliament's unprecedented accomplishment to re-elect a head of state to a second, consecutive term in office.

    In an account of his previous term in office, Mr. Stephanopoulos stated that he tried to respect the people's democratic sentiments and represent its democratic conviction.

    "I tried to express national unity which is found in the people's will and is expressed on a daily basis, through the behavior of all of the country's political forces, unhindered by political juxtaposition."

    The President will be sworn in office on March 11.

    [04] NEW DEMOCRACY TO HOLD CONFERENCE ON BALKANS

    In cooperation with the European People's Party, Greece main opposition New Democracy is to hold a conference in Thessaloniki this month over matters pertaining to democracy, stability and cooperation in Southeastern Europe.

    The two-day event, to be held on February 25-26, will be addressed by N.D. leader Costas Karamanlis who will speak on "A New Strategy of Cooperation and Development in the Balkans".

    [05] FMs OF GREECE, TURKEY, BULGARIA TO MEET IN THRACE

    The foreign ministers of Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria are to meet in Thrace - the region where the three countries share borders - on February 19, according to government spokesman Dimitris Reppas.

    Mr. Reppas called the tripartite meeting "hopeful", adding that it ushers in a new mode of communication between the three neighbors.

    [06] ASIA FORUM, A SUBSTANTIAL STEP IN EURASIAN VENTURES

    The two-day "Asia Forum 2000" came to an end in Thessaloniki yesterday with three important decisions being taken on the forum's initiation, the creation of four Eurasian business centers and the finding of a location to establish the Asia Forum on its own premises in Thessaloniki.

    A second meeting will be held in Thessaloniki again on May 23- 28, featuring six workshops.

    The forum was attended by 71 politicians and business representatives from 36 countries in Asia, the Balkans, the European Union, eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Middle East.

    The President of Asia Forum Marios Nikolinakos stated that the road to Eurasian ventures has finally opened, while the participants had the opportunity to become acquainted with the markets of the countries represented.

    Moreover, they noted that they focused on the requirements, forms and opportunities of economic collaboration among the participating countries.

    The two-day forum was held under the auspices of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, National Economy and Finance, Development, Merchant Marine, Macedonia-Thrace and Transportation- Communication.

    [07] POLL PACES POLITICIANS' POPULARITY

    The Mayor of Athens Dimitris Avramopoulos, Foreign Minister George Papandreou and main opposition deputy Dora Bakoyanni (New Democracy) are the most popular political figures in Greece, according to a poll published by the Athens daily "To Ethnos".

    The poll, conducted by "ALKO", shows Mr. Avramopoulos as leading the popularity race, having amassed 54.3% of the votes which spanned all political parties.

    While the Athens Mayor ranked first in the overall ballots, having garnered favorable opinions from 86.5% of the respondents, he ranked second among New Democracy's voters, chosen by 74.4%. He was edged from the list's apex by the main opposition party's deputy Dora Bakoyanni who was voted most popular by 74.5% of New Democracy's supporters.

    However, the ruling PASOK party's supporters apparently hold the mayor in high esteem, with 48.9% having voted for Mr. Avramopoulos.

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou - who has always enjoyed high rates of popularity - also amassed a high percentage of the respondents' votes, while independent deputy George Souflias also enjoyed a high rate from respondents belonging to both political factions. Mr. Souflias, a former ND deputy, ranked fifth in the overall order, 11th among PASOK's candidates and tenth among his former peers.

    [08] GREEK INVESTMENTS IN GEORGIA ON THE RISE

    The Thessaloniki-held Asia Forum served as a "springboard" for the initiation and development of economic ties between central Asia and Europe, according to Georgia's undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Valeri Cecelasvili who attended the two-day conference.

    Speaking to the Macedonian Press Agency, Mr. Cecelasvili analyzed his country's priorities in terms of economic relations with Greece, a country which he characterized as one of Georgia's "most credible" allies.

    According to the Undersecretary, trade volume between Greece and Georgia has increased significantly, a growth that boosts bilateral relations and creates a climate of optimism for the future.

    Specifically, he noted that Greek-Georgian economic ties are marked by the establishment of investments and the creation of joint ventures.

    Mr. Cecelasvili expressed his satisfaction over the Asia Forum which, as he stated, granted the participants with the opportunity to examine collaboration opportunities and propose solutions to the various hurdles.

    Regarding the role Georgia is called on to carry out internationally, Mr. Cecelasvili stated that his country' strategy is to strengthen existing joint ventures and examine opportunities in new markets. He added that Georgia aspires to become the "key" for the promotion of cooperation between the countries of central Asia and Europe.

    When asked to comment on his country's upcoming presidential elections, the Undersecretary stated that incumbent president Eduard Sevardnadze will most likely be re-elected, since, he said, "we need his wisdom and experience."

    [09] THE GREEK UNDERSECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS TO UKRAINE

    Greek undersecretary of foreign affairs Grigoris Niotis, responsible for issues concerning the Greeks abroad, will be declared honorary professor of the Human Studies Institute in Mariupolis on February 11.

    The foreign undersecretary will leave for Ukraine tomorrow accompanied by a foreign ministry officials delegation and in Mariupolis he will meet with city mayor Giorgos Holtubei, who is of Greek origin, while he will inaugurate the new building housing the Federation of the Greek Associations in Ukraine.

    Mr. Niotis will also visit the cities of Sartana, Cermalik and Yalta where he will meet with representatives of the Greek community to brief them on the new law on the Greeks from the former Soviet Union that was recently approved by the Greek parliament.

    [10] THE MAYOR OF ATHENS ANNOUNCES THIS EVENING IF HE WILL RUN IN THE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS

    Athens mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos will announce this evening whether he will run in the early parliamentary elections of April 9 as a candidate of the right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy.

    Honorary president of New Democracy Konstantinos Mitsotakis stated that it would have been best if Avramopoulos decided to run in the elections but even if he decides otherwise New Democracy will still move ahead.

    Senior member of New Democracy and parliament deputy Ioannis Varvitsiotis stated that there is no anxiety in the party concerning the stance that will be adopted by Mr. Avramopoulos, while leader of the Liberal Party Stefanos Manos expressed the view that the mayor will not be a candidate with New Democracy.

    [11] GAINS OF 0.79% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    The Athens Stock Exchange recorded gains of 0.79% today losing part of the ground that had initially won when it had gains of +2.5%.

    In spite of the fact that the index lost about 2 percentage points compared to its initial gains it managed to stay above the 5.500 points mark and closed at 5.594,36. The volume of transactions was 413.6 billion drachmas.

    [12] REPPAS ON THE RE-ELECTION OF STEPHANOPOULOS TO THE PRESIDENCY

    The president of the republic is the personification of the unity of the Greek people, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, who underlined the faultless way in which the election of the president was held in accordance with the constitution.

    Mr. Reppas expressed the government's respect toward Leonidas Kirkos, who had been nominated by the Coalition of the Left to be a candidate for the Greek presidency, characterizing him as a leading personality in the country's political life.

    On the issue of the revision of constitution clauses, Mr. Reppas clarified that the present parliament has already decided which clauses will be revised by the new parliament.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [13] PREFECTS OF ALBANIA, W. MACEDONIA MEET IN KORCA

    The Prefects of Albania and western Macedonia are presently holding a briefing session in Korca, on the initiative of the Albanian Prefect Bardhi Alickolli.

    The discussion will focus on the further development of bilateral ties, while the Albanian prefects will be given an outline of the Greek model of administration.

    The Secretary General of the Western Macedonia Prefecture Aris Papadopoulos will also brief the Albanian delegates on the prefecture's decentralized role on matters related to administration and development.

    [14] SAE IS ONE OF GREECE'S BEST INVESTMENTS

    The Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) is one of Greece's best investments, both in terms of organization and fiscal returns, having undertaken colossal projects which aim at improving living conditions for millions of Greeks living abroad.

    One telling example of SAE's efficiency is the fact that, while it received $2.4 million from the Greek state for operational costs, it managed to amass and allocate over $22.6 million for medical care and services to the Greek communities of the former Soviet republics.

    As its philanthropic task is not limited to countries abroad, SAE provided medical supplies to the tune of one million dollars for the victims of the devastating earthquake that struck Athens on September 7. Moreover, it contributed over $100,000 to the Northern Epirus communities in Albania.

    According to Counterpart International, a non-profit, international development organization which oversees the allocation of medical supplies provided by SAE to Georgia and Ukraine, over $100 million will be contributed in the following three years to Greeks and their neighbors in the six former Soviet republics, including Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Armenia.

    SAE President Andrew Athens does not hide his satisfaction over the organization's success, while he also points out the massive benefits to be reaped by Greece in regards to international relations.

    [15] GREEK BUSINESS DELEGATION ON MISSION TO SYDNEY

    A delegation of leading Greek investors are to travel to Sydney this month, in order to view the city's preparations for the Olympic Games.

    The four-day visit will coincide with the convention of the International Olympic Committee's executive committee, also to be held in Syndey, which will review the contribution of sponsorships to this year's Games, as well as to the Athens-held Olympics in 2000. The session will be attended by IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch.

    The delegates who will arrive in Sydney on February 16 accompanied by journalists, will be received by Australian businessmen and with officials from Australia's Ministry of Foreign Trade.

    Moreover, meetings are to be held with Australia's Ministers of Commerce and Athletics, as well as with the mayor of the city of Sydney.

    [16] THE VOLUME OF GOODS TRANSPORTED BY TRAIN ACROSS THE GREEK- FYROM BORDERS HAS INCREASED

    The volume of goods transported by train across the Greek- FYROM borders increased last month, according to a report published by the Skopje newspaper Nova Makedonia.

    Specifically, 220.000 tons of goods crossed the borders and 140.000 of them ended up in FYROM, 50.000 tons were distributed to the Greek market, and other 30.000 tons of goods that crossed the borders on both directions had other countries as their destination. Last January, 100.000 tons of petrol were imported by FYROM from Greece.

    In February, the volume of goods transported across the Greek- FYROM borders is expected to increase by 50% given the fact that the railway link of FYROM with Yugoslavia has been restored.

    It should be noted that there was an increase in the number of people that crossed the Greek-FYROM borders by train and 2.600, 1.500 of them Greeks, traveled on both directions.

    [17] BRITISH "NO" TO THE UN TREATY ON THE RETURN OF WORKS OF ART

    Britain refused to sign the new UN treaty for the return of stolen art works and cultural heritage such as, the Parthenon Marbles maintaining that it is in conflict with the existing British legislation, according to a statement made by culture minister Chris Smith.

    The newspaper "The Guardian" referring to the British culture minister decision pointed out that it will result to a dispute between Britain, the UN and Greece.

    The newspaper "The Independent" maintains that the reason that led the culture minister to this decision is possibly linked to the dispute concerning the return of the Parthenon Marbles particularly, after the decision by the special committee, formed to examine the illegal acquisition of cultural treasures, to include among them the Parthenon Marbles. The newspaper underlines that Greece wants the marbles returned by 2004 when it will host the Olympic Games but both the British government and the British Museum refuse to return them. According to the newspaper, the UN treaty that was approved in 1995 gave to Egypt the right to have a 13th century BC treasure returned to it after being illegally exported from the country a decade ago.

    [18] GREEK-EGYPTIAN JOINT VENTURE

    The Cairo Chamber of Commerce Greek-Egyptian relations department will meet next Thursday to discuss its future activities plan, while the organizing of an Egyptian products week in Athens will also be discussed aimed at increasing the Egyptian exports to the Greek market.

    The establishment of a joint Greek-Egyptian company for the promotion of bilateral trade transactions and the obstacles that need to be overcome in the trade transactions between the two countries will also be discussed.

    Greece occupies the 27th place among foreign investors in Egypt especially after the withdrawal of the Arab countries from the Egyptian market which until now had covered more than half of the foreign investments in the country.

    [19] CLERIDES RETURNS TO CYPRUS FROM GENEVA TODAY

    Cypriot president Glafkos Clerides returns from Geneva today after completing the second round of proximity talks on Cyprus.

    The talks were completed yesterday and according to UN secretary-general special adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto the third round of proximity talks will start in New York on May 23 and according to well-informed sources it will be completed on June 2.

    Based on the same sources, the two sides are expected to return to the United Nations headquarters by the end of June for the fourth round of talks.

    [20] THE EU WELCOMES THE FREEZING OF THE DEATH PENALTY IN THE US STATE OF ILLINOIS

    The decision of the US state of Illinois to freeze the execution of all pending death penalties after the revelations that 13 innocent people had been sentenced to death was welcomed today by the European Union.

    The governor of Illinois made the decision when it was revealed that 13 innocent people had been sentenced to death. The 13 were finally freed while they were on death row awaiting to be executed.

    The European Union stressed in the statement it has issued that the risk to sentence innocent people to death is essentially one of the main principles on which the EU philosophy on the death penalty is based.


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