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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-02-21

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 21, 2000

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] GREEK ECONOMY MINISTER IN LONDON TODAY
  • [02] US-GREEK COUNCIL ON BALKANS MEETS TODAY
  • [03] SEVEN KILLED, 25 INJURED IN COLLISSION
  • [04] SEFERIS COMMEMORATED IN U.K., GERMANY
  • [05] HELLENIC PETROLEUM TO CENTER IN THESSALONIKI
  • [06] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT HAD WARNED OF HAIDER
  • [07] SIGNS OF ANCIENT CITY DISCOVERED IN TYMFAIA
  • [08] GREEK FIRMS VIE FOR LIFE-II ENVIRONMENT FUNDS
  • [09] FORMAL OPENING OF THE GREEK-CZECH COUNCIL
  • [10] LOSSES OF 1.72% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [11] REPPAS' RESPONSE TO DEMIREL
  • [12] A SMALL ENVIRONMENTALIST PARTY JOINED PASOK IN THE APRIL 9 ELECTION BATTLE
  • [13] THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN ON THE TELEVISION ADS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [14] ALTERNATE FM IN CROATIA
  • [15] THE GREEK ECONOMY'S SEVEN STRONG POINTS
  • [16] ORTHODOX CHURCHES DESTROYED IN KOSOVO
  • [17] BRADLEY: THE TURKS SHOULD LEAVE CYPRUS
  • [18] THE GREEK AMBASSADOR TO ANKARA: WE SHOULD LOOK TOWARD THE FUTURE

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GREEK ECONOMY MINISTER IN LONDON TODAY

    Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou is to visit London today, to address a conference organized by the "Economist". Mr. Papantoniou is to outline the promising prospects of Greece's economy.

    Mr. Papantoniou will meet with his British counterpart Gordon Brown as well as with the London Stock Exchange president and the British deputy foreign minister.

    He is accompanied by the governor of the National Bank of Greece Athanasios Karatzas and the president of the Alpha Credit Bank Group Ioannis Kostopoulos.

    [02] US-GREEK COUNCIL ON BALKANS MEETS TODAY

    The initial meeting of the Initiative for Technological Cooperation in the Balkans (ITCB) joint United States-Greek Council will be held today in Thessaloniki.

    ITCB aims at promoting U.S.-Greek joint business ventures in the Balkans, as well as the transfer of technology and private sector expertise to the region's countries.

    The two governments will be represented by U.S. Ambassador Nicholas Burns, Development Minister Evangelos Venizelos and Macedonia-Thrace Minister Yiannis Magriotis.

    The creation for ITCB was originally proposed by U.S. President Bill Clinton and Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and was formalized in 1998, with the signing of a relevant agreement by U.S. Commerce Secretary William Daley and Greek National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou.

    [03] SEVEN KILLED, 25 INJURED IN COLLISSION

    Seven persons were killed and 25 are injured on the Athens- Thessaloniki highway yesterday when a bus collided with a trailer truck and two cars.

    According to early police reports, the trailer truck folded in two, ran off the road into the opposite lane and collided with a tourist-filled bus, while two oncoming vehicles also ran into the accident.

    The injured have been transported to Lamia and Athens hospitals.

    [04] SEFERIS COMMEMORATED IN U.K., GERMANY

    With 2000 having been declared "The Year of Seferis", marking the centennial anniversary since the birth of Greece's renowned poet George Seferis, a series of events are to be held in his honor at the United Kingdom and Germany, organized by the Hellenic Culture Foundation chapters in both of these countries.

    Specifically, there will be a series of events associated with the life of the man who is regarded by many as the greatest Greek poet of the 20th century, with three to take place in Germany on February 29, the anniversary of the nobel laureate's birth.

    A reading of several of Seferis' best-known poems will take place in Berlin, while an exhibition of the first editions of his works in Greek, English and German and a photo exhibition will also be inaugurated.

    The events are sponsored by the Athens-based Gennadios Library and the National Bank of Greece's Education Foundation.

    In Munich, a trio of contemporary Greek writers will present Seferis' works at the city Literaturhaus, to be followed by a musical program featuring well-known scores based on the Greek writer's poems.

    In London, Seferis biographer Roddy Beaton and translator Edmund Keeley, along with the BBC's Greek-language program, will organize events in May.

    Titled "George Seferis in London", the events will be hosted at the Greek ambassador's residence, the Purcell Room South Bank Center and the Hellenic Center.

    Seferis, born in Smyrna, Asia Minor, won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1963.

    [05] HELLENIC PETROLEUM TO CENTER IN THESSALONIKI

    Eyeing the promising Balkan market, the Hellenic Petroleum Group is to establish its regional activities center in Thessaloniki within the following five-year period.

    Regarding Hellenic Petroleum's entrance into Romania, as a strategic investor in Petrom, company officials stated that the negotiations are moving along at a slow pace, while they also stated that Hellenic Petroleum is interested in the Bulgarian market, especially when the unified Balkan framework for energy is completed.

    [06] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT HAD WARNED OF HAIDER

    Although the European Parliament had warned against allowing Jorg Haider's Freedom Party into government as early as 1991, especially in light of his statements sympathetic to the Third Reich's employment policies, the European Union failed to undertake even a single measure in order to avert a potential rise of fascism within its ranks.

    The European Parliament's calls of warning are included in a lengthy report of the "Review Committee for Racism and Xenophobia", drawn upon voluminous research conducted by Eurodepity Glyn Ford. A part of the said report was supported on a similar document drafted in 1985 on the initiative of the late Greek eurodeputy Dimitrios Evrigenis.

    According to the report, 40-year-old Haider has reportedly defended Adolf Hitler and stated that he is proud both his parents were Nazis, whose personal property was actually land confiscated from its Jewish rightful owners.

    The report notes that "the most impressive development in Austria since the publication of the Evrigenis report was the sharp rise of the Freheitliche Partei Osterreich (FPO), led by Jorg Haider."

    Even though FPO is a member of Liberal International, it nevertheless is an ultra-right wing party that follows a racist and xenophobic policy against all foreigners and, especially in Carinthia, against the Slovenian minority.

    Carinthia, a southern province in Austria, is essentially the FPO's headquarters as it was here where it amassed 29% of the votes in 1989, as opposed to 10 percent in the national rank.

    [07] SIGNS OF ANCIENT CITY DISCOVERED IN TYMFAIA

    Archaeological excavations in the region of Kastri, near Grevena, have unearthed the first signs of an ancient city which attest to a rich social and religious life.

    According to archaeologist Stella Drougou, digging at the site got underway in 1998 and, although still at the first stages, the discoveries are so far encouraging.

    The announcement was made during a Thessaloniki-held conference on the archaeological findings in Macedonia and Thrace during 1999.

    [08] GREEK FIRMS VIE FOR LIFE-II ENVIRONMENT FUNDS

    Greek firms are vying for 10 billion drachmas in funds from the Community initiative LIFE-II environment, a program that aims at developing innovative business practices that would make greater use of first materials and protect the environment.

    The LIFE-II initiative is budgeted at 288 million euros to be allocated over a five-year span. The amount of funds to be issued to each country will be determined by the following criteria: the innovation of the proposal; the degree of protection offered for each ecosystem and the development thereof.

    Already, the LIFE initiative has approved proposals submitted by 22 regional municipalities, within the framework of the initiatives taken by local administrations for urban reformation.

    [09] FORMAL OPENING OF THE GREEK-CZECH COUNCIL

    The formal opening of the Greek-Czech Council will take place in Thessaloniki on Wednesday in the presence of Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou and his Czech counterpart Gan Kavan, as well as minister of Macedonia-Thrace Yiannis Magriotis.

    A protocol of cooperation will be signed by the Inter-Balkan and Black Sea Business Center and the Czech-Greek Chamber of Commerce in the presence of the responsible government ministers and businessmen from both countries.

    [10] LOSSES OF 1.72% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    The general index of the Athens Stock Exchange followed a downward course after the gains recorded last Friday. The general index closed at 5.186,30 points recording losses of 1.72% while the volume of transactions reached 147.6 billion drachmas.

    The investors proceeded with new liquidation of stocks and the losses were extensive concerning all categories of stocks, while many of the small and medium capitalization stocks dropped even lower than the levels they had reached on Thursday.

    Fifty seven stocks moved upwards, 278 had losses and 8 remained stable.

    [11] REPPAS' RESPONSE TO DEMIREL

    The statements made by Turkish president Suleiman Demirel can not be the topic of discussion when they concern issues of national interests and Greece's sovereign rights, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas when called to comment on Mr. Demirel's references against Greece and Cyprus.

    Mr. Reppas said that Turkey returns to positions it had expressed from time to time and added that Greece respects the international law. He said that the Greek fighter jets always follow the air traffic regulations as opposed to the Turkish aircraft.

    Regarding the Cyprus issue, Mr. Reppas mentioned that the effort for a solution to the problem must be sped-up under the UN auspices and that a solution must be found through the good will expressed by both sides.

    [12] A SMALL ENVIRONMENTALIST PARTY JOINED PASOK IN THE APRIL 9 ELECTION BATTLE

    The representatives of the Initiative of Citizens from the Renewing and Democratic Left and Ecology, Ioannidis, Kalogirou, Maravegias, Modinos and Tountas announced in a press conference today that they will join the governing socialist party of PASOK in the April 9 election battle for the new parliament.

    They stressed that they will back the government of prime minister Simitis because its work in the key-sectors of the economy and the European and foreign policy was persuasive, while they also spoke of PASOK's re-foundation with new visions, new ideas and new policy practices.

    [13] THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN ON THE TELEVISION ADS

    After the announcement that parliamentary elections will be held in Greece on April 9 undersecretary of national economy Christos Pachtas addressed a letter to the government ministers asking them to stop any television ads by the end of February, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas when asked to comment on the television ads made by the government with European Union money.

    Mr. Reppas stated that this initiative shows the sensitivity of the government and Mr. Simitis himself on the television ads issue.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [14] ALTERNATE FM IN CROATIA

    Greece's alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Christos Rokofyllos met with Croatia's minister of European Fulfillment Issues Ivan Jakovtic in Zagreb, on the sidelines of the swearing- in ceremony of Croatia's new president Stipe Mesic.

    Messrs. Rokofyllos and Jakovtic discussed bilateral relations, while the Greek minister underlined the interest expressed by the international community in supporting Croatia's European prospect.

    [15] THE GREEK ECONOMY'S SEVEN STRONG POINTS

    The Greek economy's seven strongest points are to be outlined by the Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou today, during a London-held "Economist" conference.

    Specifically, Mr. Papantoniou will analyze the country's economic progress and will present a series of arguments in support of capital inflow.

    Namely, the Minister will speak on 1) the vast structural changes being promoted in Greece; 2) Greek investments in the Balkans; 3) the 2000-02 privatization program; 4) support measures for small-to-medium enterprises; 5) incentives for the development and application of new technologies; 6) the framework for developing the information society and 7) the international role to be carried out by Greece in the region of Southeastern Europe as the twelfth member of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

    Mr. Papantoniou is accompanied by the governor of the National Bank of Greece Athanasios Karatzas and the president of the Alpha Credit Bank Group Ioannis Kostopoulos.

    Meanwhile, according to "Economist" official Robert Daly, the forecasts for the course of Greece's economy remain positive, albeit there are concerns over pressures that may arise in the post-EMU era.

    [16] ORTHODOX CHURCHES DESTROYED IN KOSOVO

    Over eighty Orthodox churches and monasteries have been destroyed in Kosovo since the international peace force deployed there in June, the Vatican missionary news service says, citing a count by an Orthodox Serb cleric.

    As the Fides news service reported, the Reverend Rasko Radovic of the Serb Orthodox community of the northern Italian city of Trieste accused the international force of looking on while attackers target Serb Orthodox institutions.

    "The international community seems to be indifferent to the destruction of all these sacred buildings," he stated.

    [17] BRADLEY: THE TURKS SHOULD LEAVE CYPRUS

    The borders in the Aegean have been defined by international treaties and Greece's sovereignty is based on international agreements. The division of Cyprus is unacceptable and the solution of the Cyprus problem must lead to the withdrawal of the Turkish occupation forces. The above statements were made by former US senator Bill Bradley who is seeking the presidential nomination by the Democratic Party.

    Mr. Bradley is also in favor of the peaceful solution of the differences and against the use of force, while he calls on Turkey to appeal to the International Court of Justice in The Hague on issues concerning territorial differences or claims in the Aegean.

    The above were the answers given by Mr. Bradley to the questionnaire sent to all the presidential hopefuls by the American-Hellenic Institute (AHI) calling them to take a stance on national issues concerning the relations of the United States with Greece and Turkey, the Aegean, the Cyprus issue and Turkey's EU candidature.

    Bradley stressed that Turkey has the obligation, based on Helsinki's Final Act, to secure the unhindered operation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate including the operation of the Halki Theology School, while he reminded the need for the solution of the Cyprus problem and calls for the withdrawal of the Turkish occupation forces, while at the same time he calls on Turkey to respect human rights. He also welcomes the initiatives of prime minister Simitis government on the Greek-Turkish rapprochement.

    [18] THE GREEK AMBASSADOR TO ANKARA: WE SHOULD LOOK TOWARD THE FUTURE

    Greece and Turkey must forget the past and keep their eyes to the future, stressed Greek ambassador to Ankara Ioannis Korantis presenting his views on the relations of the two countries in a Bilkent University Turkuaz Club panel on "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow of the Greek-Turkish Relations".

    According to the Turkish newspaper "Gumhuriyet", the Greek diplomat stated that the two countries should keep their eyes to the future instead of looking for those responsible for the problems they have experienced in the past and launch accusations against each other.

    According to Mr. Korantis, the Venizelos-Ataturk relationship can be the best example to be followed for both countries.

    On the Cyprus problem, the Greek ambassador maintained that the confederation option suggested by the Turkish-Cypriot side will not help toward the solution of the problem.

    On the issue of terrorism, Mr. Korantis reiterated Greece's clear position and stated that within this framework the foreign ministers of Greece and Turkey have signed cooperation agreements on the issues of illegal immigration, organized crime and terrorism.


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