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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-05-23

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, May 23, 2000

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] ASIA FORUM GETS UNDERWAY IN THESSALONIKI
  • [02] GREEK PRESIDENT TO VISIT CANADA THIS MONTH
  • [03] POST-GRADUATE STUDIES FOR FYROM PROFESSORS AT ATHENS U.
  • [04] DYNAMIC MIX: TURKEY SUBMITS FLIGHT PLANS
  • [05] MACEDONIA-THRACE MINISTER ON ASIA FORUM
  • [06] ASIA FORUM PRESIDENT: OUR AIM IS DEVELOPMENT
  • [07] GREEK FM SPEAKS TO BBC ON GRECO-TURKISH RELATIONS
  • [08] GREECE, EU'S CHEAPEST COUNTRY IN FRESH PRODUCE
  • [09] STATE TO RULE ON ID CARDS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH EU
  • [10] REPATRIATED ARTISTS, SCIENTISTS, CENSUS UNDERWAY
  • [11] CONFERENCE ON PARTHENON SCULPTURES IN ATHENS
  • [12] DEEP REFORMS ARE BEING PROMOTED IN THE ASIA FORUM
  • [13] A 20% INCREASE IS EXPECTED IN THE TRADE BETWEEN GREECE AND VIETNAM
  • [14] LOSSES OF 0.42% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [15] SIMITIS: THERE ARE NO DIFFICULTIES IN THE COURSE TOWARD THE EMU
  • [16] TURKISH LOCAL ADMINISTRATION DELEGATION IS HOSTED BY THE THERMAIKOS MUNICIPALITY
  • [17] ASIA FORUM: TRADE WARS SLOW-DOWN THE COUNTRIES' DEVELOPMENT
  • [18] UNACCEPTABLE AND PROVOCATIVE THE "TIME" REPORT ON GREECE
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [19] ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS OF ATHENS IS ON A VISIT TO ROMANIA

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] ASIA FORUM GETS UNDERWAY IN THESSALONIKI

    In the presence of delegates from dozens of countries, the five-day business and exhibition conference titled "Asia Forum" got underway in Thessaloniki today.

    The forum, which aims at further boosting Eurasian economic cooperation, will promote multilateral business ventures and investments, as well as strengthen the tourism sector through the development of new strategies.

    Focusing on international cooperation and trade development, today's first thematic section is titled "Problems and opportunities of regional trade and development of exports in Asian countries" and will be addressed by the chairman of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation Zheng Zhihai.

    The chairman of India's Exporting Organizations Federation Sharad Kumar Saraf will also address the forum, to be followed by Korea's International Trade Association CEO Bell J. C. Park. Also among today's speakers are Vietnam's trade undersecretary Luong Van Tun and the chairman of the Trade Committee of the Philippines' Trade and Industry Chamber Valentin Khoe.

    Today's second section will focus on Eastern European countries and among the keynote speakers are the vice president of the Russian Association of Manufacturers and Owners Sergei M. Bekov and the alternate secretary general of the Economic Chamber of the Czech Republic; it will close with an address by Ion Pop who will represent Romania's Trade and Industry Chamber.

    Matters pertaining to the Mediterranean and the Middle East will also be addressed today, as speakers from Marocco and Iran (Nabila Ouazzani and A.N. Khamousi, respectively,) will take the podium.

    The fourth section will focus on trade and exports promotion, as well as liberalization and protectionism. Among the keynote speakers are India's Jayant Bhuyan and Poland's Han Bielawski.

    Today's session will conclude with a section on "Trade Relations with the European Union".

    [02] GREEK PRESIDENT TO VISIT CANADA THIS MONTH

    President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos, accompanied by Foreign Minister George Papandreou, will visit Canada at the invitation of the country's General Governor Adrien Clarkson, from

    President Stephanopoulos is May 27 to June 2. scheduled to meet with the country's Greek expatriate community leaders, at the sidelines of his official meetings with Canada's state leadership.

    Expected to arrive in Ottawa on May 27, the President will participate in a Greek Orthodox Liturgy in the city's cathedral on May 28, while on May 29 he is to meet with Mr. Clarkson.

    The Greek president, accompanied by a 30-member delegation of Greek businessmen, will also visit Toronto and Montreal.

    [03] POST-GRADUATE STUDIES FOR FYROM PROFESSORS AT ATHENS U.

    The University of Athens is offering five positions for post- graduate studies and three positions for visiting professors from FYROM within the framework of an agreement between the universities of the south-eastern European countries.

    The candidates from universities in Skopje will be tested in history, sociology and culture on May 29.

    [04] DYNAMIC MIX: TURKEY SUBMITS FLIGHT PLANS

    Turkish jets entering the Athens Flight Information Region as part of the NATO military exercise "Dynamic Mix", will provide flight plans in advance, albeit to the Alliance, after the Greek Defense Ministry unequivocally stated that Turkish military aircraft which fail to file flight plans will be intercepted.

    During "Dynamic Mix", NATO's land, air and naval forces will come together under the Alliance's new structure for the first time, employing the new regional command centers at Larissa in central Greece and the nearby town of Tyrnavos .

    In addition to Greece and Turkey, the exercise features the participation of Belgium, Germany, France, Denmark, the United States, Britain, Italy, Spain, Hungary and Portugal.

    Greece is participating with four frigates, four missile boats, two submarines, two tank carriers, 64 aircraft, the 2nd mechanized infantry division and the 33rd mechanized brigade.

    Turkey will have a company of marines (150 men), four jeeps, two trucks, two frigates, two missile boats, two submarines, an oil tanker and a tank carrier. It will also participate with aircraft.

    [05] MACEDONIA-THRACE MINISTER ON ASIA FORUM

    Thessaloniki is being transformed into an international center of the overall Balkan region, according tot he Minister of Macedonia-0Tyrace George Paschalides who spoke on the sidelines of Asia Forum's inauguration ceremony.

    Mr. Paschalides stated that the process for the application of Greece's plan for the reconstruction of the Balkans will get underway by the summer. The said plan is budgeted at GRD180 billion.

    Moreover, the Minister stated that Thessaloniki is gradually assuming its role and is in need of a strategic plan on behalf of the state.

    Thessaloniki's mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos also hailed the city's leading position in Southeastern Europe and added that Thessaloniki can "spread its wings" as far as Asia.

    Furthermore, Mr. Papageorgopoulos said that the Municipality is supporting these initiatives and referred to the friendship protocol signed between Thessaloniki and a Chinese province.

    [06] ASIA FORUM PRESIDENT: OUR AIM IS DEVELOPMENT

    Cooperation among governments, institutes and individuals expedites economic development and concurrently contributes to the perseverance of peace, according to the president of Asia Forum Mike Nikolinakos.

    Addressing Asia Forum's inauguration yesterday, Mr. Nikolinakos stated that the Forum's aim is to establish, in all the participating countries, a significant project which would promote imports, investments and, overall, economic development.

    He underlined the Forum's intent not to remain idle in mere talk, but to actually materialize business ventures through the workshops.

    Lastly, the Forum's president referred to India's expressed desire to organize the next Asia Forum.

    [07] GREEK FM SPEAKS TO BBC ON GRECO-TURKISH RELATIONS

    The next step in Greek-Turkish relations will be collaboration within the framework of the Papoulias-Yilmaz accord for the establishment and development of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) between the two countries, Greece's Foreign Minister George Papandreou stated in an interview with BBC radio.

    He stressed that relations between the two neighbors have entered a new phase, "a phase wherein we proceed to the enforcement of the mutual decisions which have been documented in nine agreements", while, he added, there is also cooperation in the area of Turkey's efforts to enter the EU.

    Mr. Papandreou stated that the next step to follow will be the development of CBMs and possibly other measures that will lessen tensions in bilateral relations and will promote good neighborliness.

    As such, he added, "the logic of peaceful cooperation will allow for the examination of problems such as the continental shelf in the Aegean, or problems such as the Cyprus issue, which of course is not a bilateral problem, but an international one, under a different light, and I hope that we will soon reach their resolution."

    The Greek FM also referred to the Cyprus issue and the third round of proximity talks that is set to begin in July.

    "We all want the Cyprus issue to move ahead. From that point on the question is to what degree will there be a response from the Turkish-Cypriot community, especially from Rauf Denktash, but of course, Turkey itself has been contributing to this direction lately."

    [08] GREECE, EU'S CHEAPEST COUNTRY IN FRESH PRODUCE

    Greece is the cheapest country among the European Union's member-states in a variety of commodities, ranging from fresh produce and fruits, to ass transportation and telecommunications, vehicle use, cosmetics, paper goods, jewelry, travel goods, heating and electricity, according to an annual report released by the European Commission.

    The report, released yesterday, rates the progress made by the EU's member states in promoting the domestic market regulations.

    According to the report, Denmark is the most expensive country within the EU, with Portugal being the cheapest. Disparities prices between the two countries reach the 177-percent mark.

    [09] STATE TO RULE ON ID CARDS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH EU

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis is expected to rule on the identification cards issue tomorrow, during the "Premier's Hour" in Parliament, where he is expected to announce that the individual's religion will not be among the listed data.

    According to the Athens daily "Ta Nea", the Premier will argue that Greece has to abide by European Union standards in regards to human rights.

    Moreover, the paper reports that Mr. Simitis, working under the advisement of his legal counselor George Papadimitriou, is expected to make two things clear: First, the roles of the State and Church are wholly distinct, as the Constitution provides, and, second, the identification cards are a matter that concerns solely the government which is responsible for and accountable to the Greek people.

    [10] REPATRIATED ARTISTS, SCIENTISTS, CENSUS UNDERWAY

    A state-wide census of repatriated artists and scientists is presently being conducted by the General Secretariat of Greeks Abroad, in cooperation with the European Community Fund, within the framework of the European Program "Combating isolation from the job market".

    The census, which will last until May 31, is conducted with registration cards submitted at the country's prefectural offices, and bureaus supporting repatriated Greeks.

    [11] CONFERENCE ON PARTHENON SCULPTURES IN ATHENS

    Legal experts and archaeologists will examine the prospects of the Parthenon Marbles' return to Greece, during an Athens-held, international conference titled "The restitution of the Parthenon Marbles and the EU - an historical, cultural and legal approach".

    Officially inaugurated last night, the ceremony featured a taped message from United States First Lady Hilary Clinton, who expressed the wish that the conference will facilitate the return of the Parthenon Sculptures to their "home".

    The two-day conference is organized by the Center of European Research and Studies Ioannis Kapodistrias and is held under the auspices of the ministries of culture and press.

    [12] DEEP REFORMS ARE BEING PROMOTED IN THE ASIA FORUM

    The Asian countries are at the starting point of the effort for their timely adjustment in the globalized economic environment as it was made clear today, first day of the ASIA FORUM Conference held in Thessaloniki under the auspices of the Greek government with the assistance of the ministries of foreign affairs, development and national economy in cooperation with the ministries of merchant marine, transportation and communications and Macedonia-Thrace.

    The Asian countries are trying to make more flexible the state structures and modernize their institutional framework in order to secure among others their membership in the World Trade Organization, WTO. However, in spite of the efforts made so far to attract foreign capital foreign investments remain small in most countries of the region, partly because of the 1997-1999 economic and monetary crisis.

    Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation chairman Jheng Zhihai referring to the agreement signed last Friday by China and the European Union expressed the belief that his country will be a member of the WTO before the end of the year. This development, said the Chinese official, will increase the volume of foreign investments estimated today to be US$613 billion corresponding to 340.000 foreign interest businesses. In the following years, said Mr. Zhihai, foreign trade will increase by 7.5% annually reaching US$800 billion in the next decade, while the GDP will be doubled by 2010 reaching US$2 trillion.

    The WTO membership is at the top of Vietnam's priority list and its government prepares a draft law offering incentives to foreign investors, while it also prepares the ground for tax reforms, according to trade undersecretary Luong Van Tu speaking in the ASIA FORUM. The country gives a special emphasis to the strengthening of trade relations with the European Union and its exports are expected to increase by 20% in the following years.

    The government of Korea gives a special emphasis to the attraction of foreign investments and promotes a policy that will help the country adjust to the globalization needs, according to International Trade Association, KITA, general director Mr. Bell J.C. Park. The government promotes a wide spectrum of privatization within the framework of which 13 state businesses have already become privatized, while other 19 will be partly privatized in the following years.

    The need for a joint monitoring mechanism that will limit the chain reaction risk related to the currency revaluation in the Asian countries, was pointed out by India's Exports Organization Federation chairman Sharad Kumar Saraf. He praised the role Thessaloniki can play for the development of the Euro-Asian trade because of its port and its dominating place in south-eastern Europe stressing however, that the continuous drop in the value of the Euro has a restraining effect to the strengthening of the Asian-EU relations.

    The belief that there is a huge change in the Euro-Asian economic and trade relations in the past few years was expressed by CEPII deputy director Michael Fouquin stating characteristically, that India and China could become the new centers of development for the world economy. He also clarified that the Euro-Asian cooperation will become even stronger in the next few years as the European Union will take a series of measures in 2005 aimed at limiting protectionism.

    ASIA FORUM chairman professor Marios Nikolinakos clarified that the necessary framework for the strengthening of the Euro- Asian cooperation will be formed by next fall through the creation of a non profit organization, the ASIA FORUM Center, and additional institutions that will contribute to the cooperation of European and Asian businesses that share common interests.

    [13] A 20% INCREASE IS EXPECTED IN THE TRADE BETWEEN GREECE AND VIETNAM

    The volume of trade transactions between Greece and Vietnam will show an increase of 10-20% this year, according to statements made to Macedonian Press Agency by Vietnamese trade undersecretary Luong Van Tu on the sidelines of the ASIA FORUM 2000 Conference.

    However, in spite of the upward trend bilateral trade remains limited as last year it did not exceed the US$20 million mark.

    The Greek investments in Vietnam are in an infantile state as not one of the 2.000 foreign interest investment projects in the country was made by Greek businesses. Mr. Luong Van Tu stated that one of the sectors in which the two countries can cooperate is shipping, while tourism also offers a fertile ground for the development of bilateral cooperation. The Vietnamese official stated that Greece has a considerable know-how and experience in the tourist sector that can offer to Vietnam helping the country to exploit the existing tourist resorts in the best possible way.

    [14] LOSSES OF 0.42% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Small losses of 0.42% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today and the general index was at 4.672,23 points, while the volume of transactions was at satisfactory levels at 216 billion drachmas.

    All secondary indexes recorded losses and the offer tendency expressed during transactions was absorbed mainly by liquidation.

    [15] SIMITIS: THERE ARE NO DIFFICULTIES IN THE COURSE TOWARD THE EMU

    There are no difficulties in the course toward the EMU, stated prime minister Kostas Simitis after the meeting he had with president Kostis Stephanopoulos in Athens today to brief him on the current political developments and especially on economy issues.

    Referring to the Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus issue, prime minister Simitis stated that Greece hopes that Ankara will undertake initiatives to reach settlements that will consolidate even more the cooperation in the region.

    Finally, regarding the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, he expressed the certainty that the problems will be overcome.

    [16] TURKISH LOCAL ADMINISTRATION DELEGATION IS HOSTED BY THE THERMAIKOS MUNICIPALITY

    A 40-member Turkish delegation headed by the mayors of Silivri, Selibasa, Kuburgaz and Gelaliye is hosted by the municipality of Thermaikos in Thessaloniki within the framework of the efforts for the strengthening of relations and cooperation on issues of culture, sports and environment between the Greek and Turkish local administrations.

    Mayor of Thermaikos Giorgos Kariotis stated to MPA that his wish is the twinning with one of those Turkish municipalities. It should be noted that the people in the municipality of Thermaikos come from the same regions with the visiting Turkish delegation.

    [17] ASIA FORUM: TRADE WARS SLOW-DOWN THE COUNTRIES' DEVELOPMENT

    The trade wars that erupt from time to time bear risks for the world trade, while at the same time, they are restraining factors in the development of the Asian countries, stated Iran's Chamber of Trade, Industry and Mines president Mr. A.N. Khamoushi speaking in the ASIA FORUM taking place in Thessaloniki.

    Mr. Khamoushi made a special reference to the role the World Trade Organization is called to play in backing the developing countries, pointing out that the world trade trend is in conflict with the existing protectionist mechanisms. Referring to the developing countries' access to the Internet he said that it is regarded a luxury, stressing that the exchange of information for the development of infrastructures in the Asian countries is necessary.

    On Iran, he stressed that measures for tax exemptions are being promoted, while privatization and regional cooperation are a priority and measures are being adopted for the attraction of foreign capital in the country.

    Head of Morocco's Center for the Promotion of Exports technical assistance department Ms. Nabila Quazzani focused on the advantageous geographical position of her country and presented certain elements of its economy.

    She pointed out that 57% of the Moroccan exports are textile and construction materials, while the country's main trade partner is the European Union with 75.6% followed by the United States 5.3% and Africa 4.8%.

    The need for new technologies for the development of the Asian countries in order to meet the challenges in the international environment was stressed by Turkish foreign ministry bilateral economic relations director Ercument Enc, adding that the application of new technologies is a useful tool in the restructuring of labor relations. He also expressed the view that changes in the government policies are necessary for the promotion of the use of the new technologies.

    [18] UNACCEPTABLE AND PROVOCATIVE THE "TIME" REPORT ON GREECE

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas characterized as unacceptable and provocative the report published on the US magazine "TIME" according to which, Greece is not a safe country because of the rise in the phenomena of violence.

    Mr. Reppas underlined that such a report hurts Greece's interests directly in view of the tourist period and stressed that the people in Greece are more safe than anywhere else in the West.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [19] ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS OF ATHENS IS ON A VISIT TO ROMANIA

    Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All of Greece is on a four-day informal visit to Romania since Saturday.

    Archbishop Christodoulos was warmly received by Romanian Patriarch Theoktistos and by the Romanian Orthodox Christians estimated to be 87% of the country's population. Addressing the faithful Archbishop Christodoulos congratulated them for preserving their faith.


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