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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-06-29

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, June 29, 2000

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] POLL GIVES LEAD TO ND, PRESIDENT RANKS HIGHEST
  • [02] GREECE, TURKEY DISCUSS REGIONAL ISSUES
  • [03] YOUTH PARLIAMENT CONVENES TOMORROW
  • [04] GREECE REFUTES RACISM ACCUSATIONS
  • [05] MISS AMERICA 1999 COMES TO THESSALONIKI
  • [06] NEITHER STATE, NOR CHURCH WILL BUDGE ON ID s
  • [07] ANOTHER POLL FINDS PM MOST SUITABLE FOR POST
  • [08] GREECE RANKS 25TH IN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
  • [09] 20 MILLION YEAR OLD FINDINGS IN KASTORIA'S MUSEUM AND GEO- PARK
  • [10] DUTCH FESTIVAL IN ATHENS
  • [11] LOSSES OF 0.65% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [12] DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER PAPAZOI MEET WITH THE DANISH FOREIGN MINISTER
  • [13] INDUSTRIALISTS WANT THE PRIVATIZATION PROCESS TO ACCELERATE
  • [14] TRACK AND FIELD: GOOD PERFORMANCE BY THE GREEK ATHLETES IN THE "TSIKLITIRIA 2000 GRANT PRIX"
  • [15] 120 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS WERE ARRESTED IN THESSALONIKI
  • [16] GREEK MEDALS IN THE WORLD TAE KWON DO CHAMPIONSHIP
  • [17] THE BLOWING UP OF AN OLD BRIDGE ENDED IN FAILURE
  • [18] THE AMERICAN COLLEGE WILL HONOR THE "SMILE OF A CHILD" ORGANIZATION PRESIDENT
  • [19] THE GREEK FORCE WILL WITHDRAW FROM ALBANIA
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [20] STEPHANOPOULOS: THERE ARE NO POLITICAL PROBLEMS BETWEEN GREECE AND RUSSIA
  • [21] ROBIN COOK IS AGAINST THE "TWO-SPEED" EUROPE

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] POLL GIVES LEAD TO ND, PRESIDENT RANKS HIGHEST

    A recently-conducted poll, the first after the April 9 elections, gives a 0.3 percent lead to the main opposition party of New Democracy over the ruling PASOK party, while Prime Minister Costas Simitis and main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis are about equally popular, with 43.7 percent and 44.2 percent ratings respectively.

    According to the survey, conducted by MRB on behalf of Mega TV channel, the President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos currently commands the highest popularity rating ever recorded for any person in Greek public and social life, according to the latest opinion poll.

    [02] GREECE, TURKEY DISCUSS REGIONAL ISSUES

    Political consultation meetings held last week between Athens and Ankara focused on regional issues, according to Turkey's Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Huseyin Dirioz.

    Quoted by the Turkish news agency Anadolu, Mr. Dirioz stated that the meetings were the continuation of political consultation meetings in November 1999.

    Noting that the talks had focused mainly on regional issues, Mr. Dirioz said the sides had exchanged opinion on issues of Caucasus, Balkans and Middle East, and taken up bilateral relations within framework of the nine agreements signed earlier.

    According to Mr. Dirioz, who was responding to a question, the issue of establishing a joint military committee had not been discussed in the said meetings.

    [03] YOUTH PARLIAMENT CONVENES TOMORROW

    The fifth session of the Youth Parliament will convene in Athens tomorrow, featuring the participation of a total of 350 young "deputies", 239 of whom are girls.

    The President of the Hellenic Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis expressed the wish that this year's session "be a breath of fresh air in this very hot summer."

    He also added that the institution meets the real needs of young people to ask questions and air criticism, as well as the public's interest in hearing the voice of Greek youth.

    [04] GREECE REFUTES RACISM ACCUSATIONS

    Greece is categorically refuting accusations of being a state tolerant of racism or discrimination, following a Council of Europe report prepared by the Council's European Committee Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI).

    Government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas stated that "he Greek society is distinguished for its equal jstice and equal state, adding that "the country's (relevant) legislation is efficient".

    Pointing out that Greece has taken significant steps forward, Mr. Reppas added that the Greek state is proceeding to legislative and other initiatives in order to correspond tot he needs ensuing from the huge influx of immigrants.

    "Any shortcomings or voids noted in the effort to enforce this policy should not cosntitute the premise and reason for exrepssing such accusaitons," he said.

    Interestingly enough, the report omits the fact that the Greek Parliament includes three Muslim deputies and that Greece has approved all 84 applications for the foundation of places of worship. Moreover, in contrast to the rest of Europe, Greece has no political parties with xenophobic platforms.

    [05] MISS AMERICA 1999 COMES TO THESSALONIKI

    Miss America 1999, Nicole Johnson, is to arrive in Thessaloniki tomorrow where she will be a featured speaker at a diabetes conference.

    Ms. Johnson, who suffers from type A diabetes, will speak on the significance of early diagnosis and will offer pointers on living a normal life for those who have the ailment.

    [06] NEITHER STATE, NOR CHURCH WILL BUDGE ON ID s

    Those who object to the listing of one's religion on the state-issued identification cards "breed undying hatred against the Church, influenced by a spirit of atheist enlightment", the Metropolite of Piraeus Kallinikos preached in his sermon yesterday, delivered before the Archbishop of Athens and All of Greece.

    The Church of Greece has announced plans to conduct an "unofficial referendum" in October to gauge public sentiments on the ID card controversy.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas charged that this decision could "lead to a split in Greek society".

    [07] ANOTHER POLL FINDS PM MOST SUITABLE FOR POST

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis is deemed most suitable for the premiership, according to a poll conducted by V-PRC on behalf on the Athens daily "Ta Nea".

    According to the poll, which was completed one day before the Church rally in Thessaloniki, 43.5% of the respondents opted for Mr. Simitis for the premier's post, while 36.8% for main opposition leader, New Democracy's Costas Karamanlis.

    Mr. Karamanlis's popularity rates higher, at 57.6 percent, than the Premier's which stands at 53.9%.

    While the governing PASOK party's popularity remains higher than New Democracy's, namely 27.9 percent vs. 22.2%, it does show a drop since last March.

    Mr. Karamanlis ranks highest among regular churchgoers, as, according to V-PRC, is favored by 70.2 percent of those who go to church every Sunday, whereas Mr. Simitis polled 37.1 percent in the same category.

    [08] GREECE RANKS 25TH IN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

    Greece holds the 25th place in the 1999 United Nations annual report on human development. In the previous year the country was at the 27th place.

    The human development is determined based on the life expectancy, education and income.

    [09] 20 MILLION YEAR OLD FINDINGS IN KASTORIA'S MUSEUM AND GEO- PARK

    Fossilized trees and other findings dated back to 20 million years will soon be displayed in the Paleontology and Paleobotanical Museum in Nostimo, Kastoria in north-western Greece which is under construction and is expected to be completed soon. Also, the geo-park in the nearby village of Asproklisia that will host valuable paleontological findings will be ready soon.

    Speaking to MPA, Paleontology and Paleobotany professor Evangelos Belitselos stated that the findings of the fossilized forest in Nostimo, dated back to 20 million years, are temporarily hosted in the village school and are attracting thousands of visitors.

    According to information, mentioned by Mr. Velitselos, the number of people that visited the exhibits are estimated at 10.000 and this shows that the interest of the visitors is big. Among the exhibits in the new museum in Nostimo will be findings that were brought from other regions as well including a piece of an animal skeleton that was found recently in the region of Aliakmon River and according to estimates, it is dated back to 5-10 million years.

    [10] DUTCH FESTIVAL IN ATHENS

    A Dutch Festival is organized by the Dutch Embassy in Athens that will last from September 15 to October 5 with painting, photography and flower exhibitions, lectures and a Gastronomy Week.

    The painting exhibition under the title gods and heroes in the era of Rembrant and Roubens that will be hosted in the National Gallery on September 28-October 5 will be the main event in the Festival. The exhibition will include over 80 works made by leading Dutch painters.

    [11] LOSSES OF 0.65% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Losses of 0.65% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today and the general index was at 4.071,4 points while the volume of transactions was at 122.2 billion drachmas.

    The session did not develop in a satisfactory way as the investors appeared to be affected by yesterday's big drop in the Athens Stock Exchange.

    Of the stocks trading today 44 recorded gains and 293 had losses.

    [12] DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER PAPAZOI MEET WITH THE DANISH FOREIGN MINISTER

    Greek deputy foreign minister Elisavet Papazoi met in Copenhagen yesterday with Danish foreign minister Helveg Petersen. They discussed issues concerning the Inter-Governmental Conference, the Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus issue.

    Mr. Petersen underlined the significance of the European Council decisions in Helsinki on the EU relations with Turkey. On the Cyprus issue, Ms. Papazoi said that its solution must be in agreement with the UN decisions and the European Union principles, while she reminded Cypriot president Glafkos Clerides' proposal for the participation of the Turkish Cypriots in the EU accession negotiations.

    [13] INDUSTRIALISTS WANT THE PRIVATIZATION PROCESS TO ACCELERATE

    The Association of Greek Industries expressed disagreement with the way the ministry of national economy deals with the privatization issue. The association's new president Mr. Antonakopoulos criticized the government for delaying to put in effect the privatization program that has been announced because it deals with privatization as a source of income that will cover the black holes of debt and deficits, adding that the government is not interested in the fate of the state companies after their privatization.

    Mr. Antonakopoulos announced that the Association of Greek Industries in cooperation with the ministry of development will draw up a report on the competitiveness of the Greek businesses.

    [14] TRACK AND FIELD: GOOD PERFORMANCE BY THE GREEK ATHLETES IN THE "TSIKLITIRIA 2000 GRANT PRIX"

    No world record was broken in the "Tsiklitiria 2000 Grant Prix" that was held in Athens but the performance of the Greek athletes was good.

    Katerina Thanou was once again the leading athlete in the women's 100 meters as she won the first place with 11 seconds leaving behind strong competitors.

    On the contrary, there was no great performance in the men's 100 meters. The first place was won by American Gregory Santler with 10.08 seconds. Greece's Angelos Pavlakakis came seventh with 10.29 seconds.

    Kostas Gatsioudis won the first place in javelin throwing with 88.46 meters, while Mirela Maniani-Tzelili came second in the women's javelin competition with 64.51 meters.

    [15] 120 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS WERE ARRESTED IN THESSALONIKI

    One hundred and 20 illegal immigrants, among them 8 minors, were arrested during a police operation in Thessaloniki last night.

    According to the police, the foreigners were in Greece illegally and they will be deported.

    [16] GREEK MEDALS IN THE WORLD TAE KWON DO CHAMPIONSHIP

    Three Greek athletes had a great performance in the World Tae Kwon Do Championship that is being held in the city of Tsun Tso in Korea. Michalis Mouroutsos won the gold medal, Areti Athanasopoulou the silver and Elli Mistakidou the bronze.

    In the championship participated about 1.200 athletes from 49 countries many of whom will compete in the Sydney Olympic Games. The Greek athletes that will compete in Sydney will be Michalis Mouroutsos, Alexandros Nikolaidis and Areti Athanasopoulou.

    [17] THE BLOWING UP OF AN OLD BRIDGE ENDED IN FAILURE

    The attempt to blow up part of an old bridge in the Thessaloniki-Nea Moudania motorway, near the village of Agios Pavlos, ended up in a big failure.

    The technicians of the construction company that has undertaken to widen the Thessaloniki-Nea Moudania motorway placed 40 kilos of explosives at the bridge's foundations at 11am this morning and police stopped the traffic, while the local residents were led away from the scene of the blast for precautionary reasons. Many television crews had arrived to cover the event but the blast that followed was not strong enough to destroy the old bridge.

    The technicians of the construction company are trying to establish why the attempt failed, while it should be noted that the blowing up of the bridge had been announced several days earlier by the company representatives who had invited the mass media to cover the event.

    [18] THE AMERICAN COLLEGE WILL HONOR THE "SMILE OF A CHILD" ORGANIZATION PRESIDENT

    Thessaloniki's American College will honor "Smile of a Child" organization president Konstantinos Yiannopoulos with the Humanitarian Prize within the framework of the graduation ceremony of its students that will take place today.

    For the past three years, Konstantinos Yiannopoulos is fighting for the protection and the promotion of the interests and rights of children who live in Greece regardless of their origin and nationality. The "Smile of a Child" organization was founded to fulfill the wish of Mr. Yiannopoulos' 10yearold son Andreas who had a long battle with cancer.

    [19] THE GREEK FORCE WILL WITHDRAW FROM ALBANIA

    Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos announced yesterday the withdrawal of the Greek force from Albania after a 3year stay in the country.

    The decision was taken after consultations between the ministries of foreign affairs and defense and the Albanian authorities and no agreement was reached on a formula to extend the Greek presence in the region.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that the construction of political and infrastructure projects will continue in Ghirokastra, Durres and Tirana based on the agreement that has been signed, while 30 Greek army officers will remain in Albania at Greece's persistence to train the Albanian armed forces. Another 60men force will also remain in Albania within the framework of the KFOR.

    The Greek force in Albania was deployed in the country within the framework of the international operation after the 1997 uprising.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [20] STEPHANOPOULOS: THERE ARE NO POLITICAL PROBLEMS BETWEEN GREECE AND RUSSIA

    Greek president Kostis Stephanopoulos met with the governor of St. Petersburg Mr. Yakovlev and had a long and interesting discussion. Later, he gave a press conference in the presence of Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou, undersecretary of national economy Mr. Zafiropoulos, the Russian culture minister and the ambassadors of the two countries.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos stated that there are no political problems between Greece and Russia and on the contrary in talks he had with prime minister Kasianov it was established that they share the same views while they also discussed issues of common interest.

    President Stephanopoulos said that Greece recognizes the very big role Russia can play internationally, expressing the certainty that it will play this role and will become a power of stability. He also said that the talks focused on the issues of economic interest and the construction of big projects, while he expressed the certainty that future economic cooperation will be promoted based on the fact that he is accompanied in his visit to Russia by many Greek businessmen.

    President Stephanopoulos and governor of St. Petersburg Mr. Yakovlev stressed that they discussed issues of common interest and that a working group will be established with the participation of the foreign ministry that will consider issues of regional cooperation. They also discussed issues of tourism and they agreed that tourism in both countries can develop to a great degree.

    [21] ROBIN COOK IS AGAINST THE "TWO-SPEED" EUROPE

    The need to maintain the equality among the EU member-states was stressed by British foreign secretary Robin Cook rejecting the French plans to create a "two-speed" Europe through the establishment of a "pioneer group" within the European Union.

    Mr. Cook warned that such a move will hurt the British interests, pointing out that the EU must be a group of equal states.

    British prime minister Tony Blair is in Berlin for talks with German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder that will focus on French president Jacques Chirac's proposal for the creation of a "pioneer group" within the European Union.


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