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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-06-07

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, June 7, 2000

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] GREEK FM ADRESSES STABILITY PACT MEETING
  • [02] STABILITY PACT CHAIRMAN HOMBACH IN THESSALONIKI
  • [03] SPANISH PREMIER AZNAR ON OFFICIAL VISIT TO ATHENS
  • [04] GREEK DEPUTIES IN TIRANA FOR BSEC SESSION
  • [05] CHURCH TO HOLD ITS OWN RALLIES OVER ID CARDS
  • [06] ANTI-NATO DEMONSTRATION HELD IN THESSALONIKI
  • [07] BODO HOMBACH MEETS WITH GEORGE PAPANDREOU
  • [08] BALKAN FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET IN THESSALONIKI
  • [09] CROATIAN FM MEETS WITH GREEK COUNTERPART
  • [10] GREEKS ABROAD SECRETARIAT HOSTS YOUTH
  • [11] ARCHBISHOP OF AMERICA HONORS THEODORAKIS
  • [12] GREECE DROPPED ONE PLACE IN FIFA'S WORLD RANKING
  • [13] ARCHBISHOP OF AUSTRALIA: THE ROW OVER THE ID ISSUE IS UNNECESSARY
  • [14] EUROPEAN CONFERENCE OF TRANSPORTATION MINISTERS: GREECE PLAYS A DECISIVE ROLE IN TRANSPORTATION
  • [15] AZNAR HAD CONTACTS WITH STEPHANOPOULOS AND SIMITIS
  • [16] LOSSES OF 2.62% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [17] THE ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF EUROPEAN SUGAR INDUSTRIES
  • [18] THE FUNERAL OF GIORGOS TZITZIKOSTAS WILL BE HELD ON MONDAY
  • [19] EU OPTIMISM AND CONCERN OVER THE PROBLEMS IN THE BALKANS
  • [20] OLYMPIC AIRWAYS WILL FLY TO VENICE
  • [21] THE DEMAND FOR TRANSPORTATION SERVICES IN THE EU WILL BE DOUBLED BY 2010
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [22] GREEK RECEIVES QUEENSLAND MILLENNIUM AWARD
  • [23] VERHEUGEN MINCES WORDS ON CYPRUS' ACCESSION
  • [24] THE NATIONAL PARTY OF SCOTLAND IS IN FAVOR OF THE RETURN OF THE PARTHENON MARBLES

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GREEK FM ADRESSES STABILITY PACT MEETING

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou arrived in Thessaloniki yesterday in order to address the Stability Pact chairman's consultative meeting with non-governmental organizations from the Balkan region.

    Mr. Papandreou stated that the response for the undertaking of projects related to the region's reconstruction surpassed all expectations, although he noted that the delays in funding are due to bureaucratic hurdles.

    Addressing journalists, the Foreign Minister stated that the northern port city has been transformed into the epicenter of Balkan development policy.

    Today, Mr. Papandreou will meet with his counterparts from FYROM and Croatia and with Javier Solana on the sidelines of the Stability Pact Regional Balkan Conference.

    During his stay in Thessaloniki, Mr. Papandreou will also discuss the preparations for the European Union Summit that will be hosted by the city in the first half of 2003.

    [02] STABILITY PACT CHAIRMAN HOMBACH IN THESSALONIKI

    Peace and stability in South-East Europe will not be at risk when there is sustainable economic development in the region, according to the Stability Pact's coordinator Bodo Hombach who addressed the Pact's session in Thessaloniki yesterday.

    Mr. Hombach added that political stability is a necessary prerequisite for economic development.

    Yesterday's session included discussions on democratization and human rights, which included the participation of representatives of non-governmental organizations from the Balkans.

    Mr. Hombach stated that the NGOs can carry out a significant role in drawing a common policy for the region's development.

    However, he added that in order to expedite the process of reconstructing South-East Europe, bureaucratic obstacles need to be overcome as they constitute a barrier to the encouragement of the any whatsoever initiatives.

    Furthermore, Mr. Hombach referred extensively to the private sector's significance in regards to the economic development of the region's countries, pointing out that these states will have to attract potential private investors. In order to achieve this, he said, these states need to adopt the appropriate legislative and tax regulations, as well as a series of other measures, that would encourage private initiative.

    He also added that 150 million euros have been allocated for the funding of the Pact's reconstruction programs.

    Regarding the Stability Pact's relations with Serbia, Mr. Hombach stressed that "we didn't succeed in this area", adding that Serb President Slobodan Milosevic is activating mechanisms for military operations. He also stated that the said state's problem is far more complex than it seems, as there are parameters that will have to be taken into consideration.

    Nevertheless, Mr. Hombach noted that the Stability Pact is presently in contact with 40 Serb organizations.

    [03] SPANISH PREMIER AZNAR ON OFFICIAL VISIT TO ATHENS

    Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, presently on a two-day official visit, will meet with his Greek counterpart Costas Simitis today with whom he will discuss bilateral relations and European Union issues.

    Mr. Aznar will also be received by the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos today and will meet with main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis, as well as representatives from the business world.

    [04] GREEK DEPUTIES IN TIRANA FOR BSEC SESSION

    A five-member, bipartisan delegation of Greek Parliament deputies is presently in Tirana in order to participate in the 15th parliamentary assembly of Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) member-states.

    The deputies are to participate in sessions scheduled to focus on promoting cooperation among small-to-medium enterprises, as well as joint initiatives by member-states in the field of law enforcement, customs and immigration.

    [05] CHURCH TO HOLD ITS OWN RALLIES OVER ID CARDS

    Following an extraordinary session held by the Holy Synod (the full council of bishops) yesterday, the Church of Greece announced that it plans to hold two rallies this month, in protest to the government's firm decision not to list one's religious affiliation on the state-issued identification cards.

    The first rally will be held in Thessaloniki on June 14 and the second in Athens on June 21.

    According to the Holy Synod, the state's "intransigence" on the identification cards issue is reflective of a series of measures that aim to isolate religion and the church into the sidelines of public, national and social life.

    Meanwhile, a group of Orthodox churchgoers is seeking recourse through the Council of State, contesting the government's decision as "unconstitutional".

    Government spokesperson Dimitris Reppsas commented that the Church's stance over the matter does not correspond with its spiritual role.

    "We are not going to get entangled in a uncalled-for juxtaposition, especially over matters for which the state, and solely the state, holds authority," he stated.

    [06] ANTI-NATO DEMONSTRATION HELD IN THESSALONIKI

    Local members of the Greek Communist Party staged a demonstration in Thessaloniki yesterday, protesting NATO's "Dynamix Mix" military exercise.

    Shouting slogans against the Americans, NATO and the government, the demonstrators marched peacefully to the city's United States consulate which was being guarded by a strong SWAT team force.

    The march featured the participation of a "Conscripts Solidarity Committee" which claimed that the NATO exercise is merely a preparation of a new round of conflict in the Balkan region, and aims to subdue any form of resistance on behalf of the Balkan peoples.

    [07] BODO HOMBACH MEETS WITH GEORGE PAPANDREOU

    The Stability Pact's coordinator Bodo Hombach met with Greece's Foreign Minister George Papandreou in Thessaloniki, where they discussed matters pertaining to the Pact's present and future course.

    Specifically, Messrs. Hombach and Papandreou held talks on democratic institutions, economic reconstruction, security, protection of minorities and combating crime in the Balkan region.

    Noting the problems that have been met to date, both agreed that they are mostly due to the bureaucratic red tape surrounding the Stability Pact's programs.

    Mr. Hombach noted Thessaloniki's role as a business center for the development of the Stability Pact and the materialization of the region's programs.

    Greece has adopted a national plan, budgeted at 570 million dollars for 200-2005, towards the execution of the Stability Pact's programs, while Brussels - in March - amassed 10 million euros for the period between 2000-2001.

    [08] BALKAN FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET IN THESSALONIKI

    An informal meeting of the Balkan foreign ministers got underway in Thessaloniki today, where the participants will discuss the development of regional cooperation and the situation in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and will review an assessment report provided by the Stability Pact's coordinator Bodo Hombach.

    The meeting, held within the framework of the Stability Pact, features the participation of the foreign ministers of Greece, FYROM, Croatia and Montenegro, as well as the foreign undersecretaries or bureau chiefs from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Slovenia, Italy, Turkey, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania. A European Commission representative is also present.

    Following the meeting, Greece's Foreign Minister George Papandreou will be joined by Mr. Hombach and the representative of the Joint Defense and Foreign Policy Javier Solana in a press conference this afternoon.

    Mr. Papandreou will meet with Mr. Solana on the session's sidelines, as well as with his counterpart from FYROM Alexandar Dimitrov.

    Messrs. Dimitrov and Papandreou will discuss the course of bilateral relations between Greece and FYROM, as well as the recent alarming incidents that have occurred at the FYROM-Kosovo border.

    Messrs. Solana and Hombach are to meet this evening with officials from the Serb opposition parties.

    [09] CROATIAN FM MEETS WITH GREEK COUNTERPART

    Croatia's Foreign Minister Tonino Picula met with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou and undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Aggeliki Laiou in Thessaloniki this morning, on the sidelines of the Balkan Foreign Ministers informal meeting presently held in the city.

    The three discussed issues pertaining to bilateral relations and the developments in Kosovo and Serbia, as well as the course of the Stability Pact.

    One of the bilateral-interest matters discussed concerned the Ionian-Dalmatian motorway, a project slated for European Union funding, which will embark from Igoumenitsa and cross through Albania, Montenegro, Croatia and Slovenia, thereby linking Greece with central Europe.

    On other matters, Mr. Papandreou relayed Greece's support to Croatia's European prospect and saluted the democratic developments of the newly-elected Croatian government.

    [10] GREEKS ABROAD SECRETARIAT HOSTS YOUTH

    A number of hosting programs that will combine vacation and training are to be offered by the General Secretariat of Greeks Abroad this summer.

    Aimed at young Greeks (18 to 25 years of age) who live abroad, the programs will take place in the Aegean islands, the Peloponnese and Zakynthos (July 24-August 9), Epirus and Crete (August 3-19).

    The requirements of participation are studies in modern Greek departments, a high grade point average and a very good knowledge of the Greek language.

    All expenses, with the exception of travel to and from Greece, are to be covered by the General Secretariat. Each of the programs will include archaeological tours, seminars and cultural events.

    [11] ARCHBISHOP OF AMERICA HONORS THEODORAKIS

    The Archbishop of America Dimitrios is to host a luncheon in honor of Greece's world renowned composer Mikis Theodorakis, on the occasion of the opening of his opera "Electra" at Carnegie Hall.

    The Archbishop will also be visited by a delegation of Greek women presently in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly on "Women 2000: Equality of genders, development and peace for the 21st century".

    [12] GREECE DROPPED ONE PLACE IN FIFA'S WORLD RANKING

    Greece's national football team dropped one place in FIFA's world ranking in the month of June. It has 583 points and is down to the 32nd place after its defeat (2-1) by the Romanian national team in a friendly game during preparations.

    At the top of the list is Brazil followed by France, the Czech Republic, Spain, Argentina and Germany.

    [13] ARCHBISHOP OF AUSTRALIA: THE ROW OVER THE ID ISSUE IS UNNECESSARY

    Archbishop Stilianos of Australia in a statement he made from Chania in Crete characterized the row created on the occasion of the identity cards issue as unnecessary.

    The Archbishop of Australia stated characteristically that we do not write outside our doors that we are Orthodox Christians and therefore, we should not write it on our police identity card as well.

    [14] EUROPEAN CONFERENCE OF TRANSPORTATION MINISTERS: GREECE PLAYS A DECISIVE ROLE IN TRANSPORTATION

    The assurance that the Greek effort for the reconstruction of transportation in south-eastern Europe has the support of all the participants in the European Conference of Transportation Ministers, ECTM, was given by the conference's current and former presidents J. Schling and P. Antonin.

    Greece is the most stable country in the region of south- eastern Europe and is absolutely capable to play an important role in the reconstruction of the transportation networks. Therefore, said Czech transportation minister and current president of the conference, Mr. Schling, all the conference participants want to back the Greek effort as this will be to the benefit of trade and transportation in the wider region.

    Addressing the 15th International Symposium of ECTM that opened in Thessaloniki today and will last until June 9, minister of Macedonia-Thrace, Giorgos Paschalidis, stressed that the coordinated and harmonic development of infrastructures and the transportation operation in south-eastern Europe will contribute to the development of a wider economic zone with all the countries in the region active participation in the world economy.

    In the 15th international symposium on transportation participate 350 delegates from 33 countries, while the Greek delegation is made up of 120 government ministry officials, state and private company executives and representatives of the scientific community.

    [15] AZNAR HAD CONTACTS WITH STEPHANOPOULOS AND SIMITIS

    Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar was received by Greek president Kostis Stephanopoulos at the presidential building in Athens today.

    Later, Mr. Aznar met with prime minister Kostas Simitis and they discussed issues concerning Greece's accession into the EMU in view of the EU summit meeting in Portugal in which Greece's entry to the Euro-zone will be confirmed.

    In statements he made, the Spanish prime minister praised the achievements of the Greek economy and expressed Spain's satisfaction for Greece's accession into the EMU.

    [16] LOSSES OF 2.62% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Significant losses of 2.62% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today and the general index was at 4.348,78 points, while the volume of transactions was small, at 127 billion drachmas.

    According to market circles, the big plunge is attributed to the strong concern among investors regarding the course of privatizations and the tendencies for inflation rise. Indicative of the concern among the investors is the fact that sale orders were 7 times more than the purchase orders.

    [17] THE ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF EUROPEAN SUGAR INDUSTRIES

    The negotiations between the Greek Sugar Industry Ltd and companies in FYROM, Bulgaria and Serbia concerning investments are positive, according to statements made to MPA by Greek Sugar Industry president Vasilis Papayiannis, who added that in order for the talks to be fruitful there must be a clear economic environment regarding legal regulations. Mr. Papayiannis stated that the regulations that will be in effect in the countries mentioned above must be harmonized with the EU legislation as tariffs are among the most crucial factors for sugar. It should be noted that Greece exports sugar and certain of its by-products to Albania, FYROM and Bulgaria. The issues that were discussed today in the annual meeting of the European Union Sugar Industries concerned the development of the international sugar market compared to the European sugar market, the protection of the product, the issue of the ratios, the EU enlargement and its effects on the European sugar market. According to the conclusions reached, said Mr. Papayiannis, sugar is part of a healthy diet and it can not affect the health and safety of consumers in a negative way if they are careful with their diet. From his side, European Organization of Sugar Industries president Jules Beauduin stated to MPA that the fact that Thessaloniki was chosen to host the conference means that the EU member-states recognize that the Greek sugar industry is very important.

    [18] THE FUNERAL OF GIORGOS TZITZIKOSTAS WILL BE HELD ON MONDAY

    The funeral of former government minister and parliament deputy of the main opposition party of New Democracy Giorgos Tzitzikostas, who died at dawn today after a long battle with cancer, will be held in Thessaloniki on Monday.

    He was born in Athens in 1941 and studied Law in Thessaloniki's Aristotle University, while he got a master's degree in economics in France.

    In 1975 he was the president of the UN's National Council of Food and Agriculture Organization in Greece. He became a member of the party of New Democracy after the end of the dictatorship and since 1974 he was elected parliament deputy in Thessaloniki.

    He served as undersecretary of agriculture, education and coordination and as minister of Macedonia-Thrace. In 1993 he was elected secretary of New Democracy's local administration central committee. He was married and had three sons.

    [19] EU OPTIMISM AND CONCERN OVER THE PROBLEMS IN THE BALKANS

    European Union common foreign and security policy representative Javier Solana appeared optimistic regarding the solution of the problems in the Balkans, while Stability Pact coordinator Bodo Hobach stated that the struggle against slowness and bureaucracy is underway and Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou underlined the willingness of all the countries in the region to undertake responsibilities for the materialization of the Stability Pact. The above were stressed by Mr. Solana, Mr. Hobach and Mr. Papandreou in a joint press conference after the end of the informal meeting of the Stability Pact foreign ministers that was held in Thessaloniki. According to their statements they dealt with the progress made by the Stability Pact for south-eastern Europe and the situation in Yugoslavia.

    Both Mr. Papandreou and Mr. Solana characterized Serbia as the "black hole" of the Balkans because without it the reconstruction can not proceed and stressed that the Serb people will be backed as well as the society of citizens and the opposition in order to bring about the change of the political system with the removal of Slobodan Milosevic.

    During the press conference was expressed strong concern over the latest incidents at the FYROM-Kosovo borders and Mr. Papandreou underlined that the existing borders must be respected. Mr. Solana will depart for Pristina this afternoon and stated that his goal is to make every possible effort for the Serbs in Kosovo to remain under the temporary multi-national UN administration in the region.

    All three expressed their backing to the Montenegro government and stated that the municipal elections scheduled to take place in the next few weeks must be held in a democratic way.

    Mr. Hobach also expressed deep concern over the assassination of the associate of Montenegro president Juganovic and the persecution of the independent mass media in Belgrade.

    Regarding the Stability Pact, Mr. Papandreou presented the informal conclusions of the foreign ministers according to which, the countries in the region are willing to play an even bigger role in the materialization of the Stability Pact. Also, they will give a special attention to the operation of the democratic institutions, the market economy and the participation of non governmental organizations in this effort. According to Mr. Papandreou there are bureaucracy problems that must be faced immediately.

    On the sidelines of the summit, Mr. Papandreou had a short meeting with his FYROM counterpart Alexander Dimitrov with whom they discussed issues concerning bilateral relations and the alarming developments after the incidents at the borders of FYROM with Kosovo.

    [20] OLYMPIC AIRWAYS WILL FLY TO VENICE

    The Greek national airline Olympic Airways will now fly to Venice, after introducing flights to Rome, Milano and Napoli.

    The Venice flight will be launched on Friday, June 9 in cooperation with ALPIEAGLES airline and it will be made every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday with "FOKKER 100" airplanes that can carry up to 100 passengers.

    [21] THE DEMAND FOR TRANSPORTATION SERVICES IN THE EU WILL BE DOUBLED BY 2010

    The demand for transportation services in the European Union is expected to be increased by 100% in 2010 compared to 1995, while at the same time, the movement of private cars across borders will show an increase of 30% and the number of trucks carrying goods from and to the united Europe will be increased by 20%, according to Greek Transportation Institute and Aristotle University Transportation Technique Laboratory director, professor Yiannopoulos in statements he made in the 15th international symposium of the European Conference of Transportation Ministers that is being held in Thessaloniki.

    The road network continues to have the "lion share" of transportation in the EU in spite of the fact that the member- states have expressed their intention to give an emphasis to railway transportation.

    Norwegian School of Management representative Mr. Dag Bjornland also referred to the railway transportation and according to his presentation, the railways will be used to carry just up to 11% of the goods by the year 2010.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [22] GREEK RECEIVES QUEENSLAND MILLENNIUM AWARD

    The Millennium Award of the Australian state of Queensland has been awarded to the Greek chairman of the Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland (ECCQ) Nikos Xynias for his 20 years of valuable service to the immigrant communities of the wider region.

    Mr. Xynias, who was born in Egypt of Greek parents, has served on several advisory immigrant services in Australia.

    The award was presented to Mr. Xynias by Queensland state premier Peter Beattie.

    [23] VERHEUGEN MINCES WORDS ON CYPRUS' ACCESSION

    The European Union's Enlargement Commissioner Guenter Verheugen reportedly believes that linking European Union-Turkey relations with the resolution of the Cyprus issue is inevitable, according to BBC's radio service, thereby contradicting the EU's top-ranking official's earlier statements.

    In statements he made in Brussels yesterday, where the EU- Turkey joint parliamentary committee convened, Mr. Verheugen stated that (as per the EU's Helsinki Summit) a political resolution to the Cyprus problem is not a prerequisite for the island's accession to the EU, albeit adding that this does not mean that Cyprus will enter the European Union in its present state.

    "Simply, there is a possibility that this could happen as an alternative solution, which, however, is neither the favorable one, nor does it represent some form of guarantee. When the time comes, the ministerial council will take all the factors under advisement and will decide accordingly," he stated.

    [24] THE NATIONAL PARTY OF SCOTLAND IS IN FAVOR OF THE RETURN OF THE PARTHENON MARBLES

    Scotland's National Party is in favor of the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece. According to the BBC radio service, the "shadow" culture minister of the National Party of Scotland, Michael Russell called on the British government to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece and urged it to start serious negotiations with the Greek government after the recent statements in London by Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou.

    Mr. Russell pointed out that recently was returned to Scotland one of its most important archaeological treasures and underlined that generosity must be displayed in satisfying Greece's demand for the return of the Parthenon Marbles which clearly belong to Athens and not to London.


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