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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-02-29

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 29, 2000

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] PASOK LEADS IN THE NEW OPINION POLL
  • [02] PAPANTONIOU PRESENTED THE NATIONAL EMPLOYMENT PLAN
  • [03] NEW LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [04] A GREEK COMPANY WILL BE SENT TO MITROVICA
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [05] THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH CELEBRATED HIS 60TH BIRTHDAY
  • [06] WASHINGTON POST: EFFORTS FOR THE DESTABILIZATION OF SOUTHERN SERBIA
  • [07] THE GREEK-TURKISH DIPLOMATIC MEETING WAS HELD IN A GOOD CLIMATE
  • [08] ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS CALLED FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE MONUMENTS IN KOSOVO

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] PASOK LEADS IN THE NEW OPINION POLL

    The latest opinion poll conducted by the polling company ALKO on behalf of "ALPHA" television station puts the governing socialist party of PASOK ahead.

    PASOK has 33.8% and leads the right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy with 0.8%. An opinion poll that was conducted in the last week of January by the same polling company had showed New Democracy leading PASOK by 1.2%. The opinion poll that was published today is the first conducted by ALKO which shows PASOK leading in the intent of vote.

    The Greek Communist Party got 5%, the Democratic Social Movement 3.6%, Coalition of the Left 3.3%, the Liberals 0.5%, while the undecided voters are 13.8%.

    In the wider region of Athens PASOK is leading by 10 percentage points getting 36%, while New Democracy is at 25.5%. New Democracy is leading in the rest of Greece with 37% compared to 32.6% for PASOK.

    [02] PAPANTONIOU PRESENTED THE NATIONAL EMPLOYMENT PLAN

    Minister of national economy Yiannos Papantoniou presented the national employment plan that will be submitted to the responsible European Union agencies in early May. The presentation was made after the meeting he had today with the ministers of labor, development, agriculture and education.

    The basic axes of the plan that will be discussed in the Lisbon informal summit meeting in March are the prevention of unemployment, the qualitative upgrading of vocational training, the life-long vocational training, the encouragement of new businesses and the participation of women in the job market.

    Referring to the stock market, Mr. Papantoniou stated that it will follow an upward course stressing that this course does not rule out fluctuations based on factors such as the international oil prices and the value of the US dollar. On the drachma, he said that it follows a normal course in view of the steps toward the central rate of exchange set by the government. Regarding the foreign exchange reserves, Mr. Papantoniou said that they are more than sufficient as they are more than double compared to those of other small countries such as Portugal or Denmark.

    [03] NEW LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    The Athens Stock Exchange closed with losses of 0.64% today at 5002,23 points in spite of the efforts to stop the downward course.

    The volume of transactions was at 277.3 billion drachmas, while of the stocks trading today 276 recorded losses, 59 had gains and 30 remained stable. The stock exchange has its autonomy and it must be safeguarded, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, adding that the economic situation of the country justifies every optimism on the future course of the stock market.

    [04] A GREEK COMPANY WILL BE SENT TO MITROVICA

    NATO has announced that a military exercise of the allied forces will take place on March 19-April 9 and within the framework of this exercise an international force of 2.000 men will pass through Thessaloniki, according to Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas. However, Mr. Reppas reiterated that Greece will not send new forces to Kosovo and that there should not be given the impression that we are before shocking developments.

    A Greek mechanized company arrived in the town of Mitrovica in Kosovo at noon today and it will assume its duties tomorrow. The 100 men making up the mechanized company will be deployed in the town and will patrol both in the Serb and the ethnic Albanian sector. The Greek officers will take over the control of central points in Mitrovica in order to help in the normalization of the situation.

    According to a statement issued by the National Defense General Staff, the Greek company will stay in Mitrovica until March 5 and then it will return to Urosevac.

    Minister of national defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos characterized the Greek force stationed in Kosovo as adequate and very effective and underlined that no additional Greek soldiers will be sent to the region. Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that there is a need to implement the relevant agreements and increase to 5.000 men the size of the Kosovo based police force which is currently made up of 1.800 men. The Greek minister of defense warned that if those deficiencies are not met there is a risk of new "explosions" in the region.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [05] THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH CELEBRATED HIS 60TH BIRTHDAY

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, who is in Seoul visiting the Christian Orthodox Church in Korea, celebrated his 60th birthday today.

    The Ecumenical Patriarch will be in Korea until March 2 and in an interview he gave to the mass media, he referred to the history of the founding of the Church of Korea, the interruption of relations because of the Communist regime and its accession into the Ecumenical Patriarchate in 1955.

    [06] WASHINGTON POST: EFFORTS FOR THE DESTABILIZATION OF SOUTHERN SERBIA

    The US newspaper "Washington Post" writes in an article today that the ethnic Albanians are trying to annex regions of southern Serbia to Kosovo causing a new armed conflict in the region. According to press publications, NATO is especially concerned over the fact that large numbers of Yugoslav soldiers have gathered in the region.

    Based on the "Washington Post" report, the ethnic Albanians are trying to annex from Serbia the southern regions of Presnor, Bujanovac and Melveta. NATO and Washington appear concerned because Belgarde is allegedly determined to avert such a development. Already, large numbers of soldiers have gathered in the region while there are testimonies of eye witnesses confirming the presence of Liberation Army rebels.

    [07] THE GREEK-TURKISH DIPLOMATIC MEETING WAS HELD IN A GOOD CLIMATE

    The issue of the economic assistance promised by the European Union was brought by Turkey to the table of talks that were held between Greek and Turkish diplomats in Ankara.

    High ranking officials of the foreign ministries of Greece and Turkey met in Ankara to draw up a cooperation plan on European Union issues. The cooperation plan will also concern the Greek know-how that will be offered to Turkey.

    The Greek side stressed that it is ready to offer its support in the effort to harmonize the Turkish legislation with the European and according to the Turkish news agency Anadolu, the Turkish side welcomed this proposal stressing, at the same time, that all the initiatives that will be undertaken within the framework of the harmonization with the EU will be able to materialize only if Turkey receives the necessary economic assistance.

    According to diplomatic sources, cited by the Turkish news agency Anadolu, the Greek diplomats stated that the funding could be made through the MEDA programs. Also, the Greek diplomats suggested that Turkey should take advantage of the training centers in Athens within the framework of its harmonization with the European Union.

    The two sides exchanged ideas concerning the EU enlargement and the European programs, while diplomatic sources have stated that they expect further results in the next meeting scheduled to be held in Athens in April.

    [08] ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS CALLED FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE MONUMENTS IN KOSOVO

    Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All of Greece called on the responsible international community institutions to take measures for the protection of the religious monuments in Kosovo.

    The Patriarchate of Serbia stated that Archbishop Christodoulos informed Patriarch Pavle of Serbia about the appeal he has issued to international organizations and their representatives in Kosovo, stressing the need for the necessary measures to be taken for the protection of the religious cultural monuments many of which have suffered serious damages during the NATO bombings and also by the attacks of the ethnic Albanians in the region.

    Archbishop Christodoulos mentions that it is a Christian duty to issue an appeal to all the international organizations, state leaders and heads of Churches in order to correct this unacceptable situation and protect the people and the religious cultural monuments in the region. Archbishop Christodoulos also adds in his statement that over 80 churches and monasteries have suffered serious damages after the arrival of the KFOR forces in Kosovo.


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