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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-10-06

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, October 6, 2000

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [01] GREEK RESPONSE TO CRISIS IN YUGOSLAVIA
  • [02] GREEK FM PLANS TO VISIT BELGRADE
  • [03] PASOK CENTRAL COMMITTEE WILL MEET TODAY
  • [04] "DEFENDORY 2000" TAKES OFF IN ATHENS
  • [05] "SAMINA" CAPTAIN AND SHIP MATE JAILED
  • [06] GREEK FM SPEAKS WITH KOSTUNICA
  • [07] THE YAKOVLEV TRIAL OPENED IN THESSALONIKI
  • [08] SERB COACHES IN THESSALONIKI COMMENT ON THE DEVELOPMENTS IN YUGOSLAVIA
  • [09] KARAMANLIS: THE WILL OF THE SERB PEOPLE MUST BE RESPECTED
  • [10] THE PRIME MINISTER ON THE DEVELOPMENTS IN YUGOSLAVIA
  • [11] GAINS OF 1.73% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [12] THE GREEK AUTHORITIES ARE IN A STATE OF READINESS REGARDING THE GREEK STUDENTS IN YUGOSLAVIA
  • [13] GREECE WILL CALL FOR THE LIFTING OF THE SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON YUGOSLAVIA
  • [14] INFLATION CLOSED AT 3.1% IN SEPTEMBER
  • [15] THE CAUSES OF THE "SAMINA" TRAGEDY ARE BEING INVESTIGATED
  • [16] GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN - YUGOSLAVIA
  • [17] COHEN - CAKMAKOGLU MEETING IN THESSALONIKI
  • [18] A UKRAINIAN AIRPLANE IS GROUNDED AT THE AIRPORT OF THESSALONIKI
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GREEK RESPONSE TO CRISIS IN YUGOSLAVIA

    Members of the Greek government have reacted calmly yet firmly to the action taken by supporters of Yugoslavia's opposition leader Vojislav Kostunica against the Milosevic regime, in attempts to reclaim a new Yugoslavia which have stunned the world.

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis expressed the hope that developments in Yugoslavia will take the calm and democratic path that Greek initiatives have attempted to encourage, adding that Greece always stood by Yugoslavia as far as the country's integration into the European Union was concerned and that it will continue to do so in the future. Mr Simitis stressed that the political forces of Yugoslavia should remain calm and act responsibly and that the nation's will should be respected.

    For his part, Greek Foreign minister George Papandreou foresees that it is the beginning of the end for Slobodan Milosevic and that further action should be taken calmly. "Greece has taken the initiative, despite internal criticism, to help Yugoslavia achieve democracy and this is the message we conveyed to Mr Milosevic before the elections". Mr Papandreou considers that "intervention by the West will be fruitless, as Serbs have decided to take the matter into their own hands and carve out a different path for themselves".

    Greek minister of Culture and former Foreign minister, Theodoros Pangalos likened the current situation in Yugoslavia to that of Romania during the Ceaucescu regime and commented on his efforts to intervene in Yugoslavia's affairs whilst he was Foreign minister: "I made desperate attempts to save the situation in Yugoslavia in the lead up to the Kosovo crisis", he said, adding that he "had asked Mr Milosevic to step down from power", but to no avail.

    Greek Press undersecretary Telemachus Chytiris expressed the government's concern over the current situation in Belgrade and stressed that the Greek government is ready to intervene in Yugoslavia's crisis, not only because of its interest in its future developments but also because of the huge number of Greek students currently studying in Belgrade. He maintained that there has been no political communication between the two countries and that Greece will continue to encourage the establishment of democracy in Yugoslavia.

    [02] GREEK FM PLANS TO VISIT BELGRADE

    Greek Foreign minister George Papandreou is planning a trip to Belgrade, as part of Greek initiatives in response to the recent developments in Yugoslavia, Press undersecretary Telemachus Chytiris announced today.

    Mr Chytiris expressed the hope that a solution will be found to the current crisis as well as with Slobodan Milosevic, adding that Vojislav Kostunica should take action to solve the problem internally, without Western intervention.

    As far as Greek intervention in the crisis is concerned, the Greek Press undersecretary stressed that "the policy upheld by Athens has always been moderate. It was the only capital to have constant ties with Belgrade and the only capital to send its Foreign minister to the Yugoslavian capital. Our support has never been one-sided and we worked towards helping Yugoslavia and towards finding a solution to the crisis. These efforts are recognised by the Yugoslavian nation and by Mr Kostunica, with whom we were in touch with until yesterday, as our diplomatic representatives are still in Belgrade.

    [03] PASOK CENTRAL COMMITTEE WILL MEET TODAY

    The Greek government's Central Committee will hold a meeting this afternoon, in the midst of the heavy climate created by the "Express Samina" shipwreck and by recent clashes between party members.

    Greek Prime Minister and Pasok leader Costas Simitis will open the meeting with a speech, during which he will refer to the stunning political developments that have shaken Yugoslavia during the last 24 hours, as well as to the new developing face of Yugoslavia and to Greece's role in the region.

    According to reports, Mr Simitis will attempt to improve the negative climate currently surrounding the government and his party and will stress his determination to realize the plans outlined by Pasok in the run- up to the elections of April 9th.

    The Greek Prime Minister will also invite his party members to focus on realizing the party's aims and plans.

    [04] "DEFENDORY 2000" TAKES OFF IN ATHENS

    Official representatives of 60 countries, defense industry representatives from 34 countries and 22 Defense ministers from all over the world are currently participating in the "Defendory 2000" international armament exhibition in Athens.

    The exhibition, during which participating countries will present different military and defense armament systems, provides professionals with the opportunity to exchange views on technical and scientific matters related to defense and is also a stage for local, national and international cooperation to be discussed.

    Representing Greece at the exhibition is the National Vehicle Manufacturing company, together with a group of construction companies interested in producing various types of armament systems.

    [05] "SAMINA" CAPTAIN AND SHIP MATE JAILED

    The captain and ship mate on duty aboard the "Express Samina" were jailed on the Greek island of Chios today, following a decision made by the prosecutor and judge in charge of the case.

    Investigations into the causes of the shipwreck, in which dozens of passengers lost their lives, are still underway in Syros

    [06] GREEK FM SPEAKS WITH KOSTUNICA

    Greek Foreign minister George Papandreou is ready to depart for Belgrade whenever possible, according to a statement made by his spokesman Panos Beglitis.

    Mr Papandreou spoke with his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov both yesterday and this morning, as well as with Vojislav Kostunica. He is also holding regular talks with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and with Foreign ministers within the European Union concerning the Yugoslavian crisis.

    The Greek Foreign ministry has no information concerning the whereabouts of Slobodan Milosevic and has been informed that Mr Ivanov will try to hold a meeting with him.. As he stated to Mr Papandreou during a telephone call, Mr Kostunica believes that the Yugoslavian army will maintain a neutral stance and will not contribute to future developments in the crisis.

    It is likely that Mr Papandreou will leave for Paris this evening, to discuss the crisis in Yugoslavia with his French counterpart Hubert Vedrine. The situation in Yugoslavia will also be discussed during the General Affairs Council of the European Union, due to hold a meeting on Monday, during which the first issue on the agenda will be the lifting of sanctions imposed against Yugoslavia.

    [07] THE YAKOVLEV TRIAL OPENED IN THESSALONIKI

    The trial on the causes of the Yakovlev air accident, at the Pieria Mountains in December 1997 that cost the lives of 73 passengers and crew members, opened in Thessaloniki today.

    On trial are the air traffic controllers who were on duty on the night of December 17, 1997. They are Yiannis Yiannakopoulos and Adamantios Frangiadoulis, who are accused of many counts of manslaughter and of violating the transportation regulations.

    In the trial will testify tens of the victims' relatives, while after a decision by the presiding judge more seats were added to cover the needs of the trial.

    [08] SERB COACHES IN THESSALONIKI COMMENT ON THE DEVELOPMENTS IN YUGOSLAVIA

    "The situation in Yugoslavia is difficult. Things have gotten out of control. No one can predict what will happen in the future but in the days to come everything will be cleared up", stated Thessaloniki's PAOK football team coach Dusan Bajevic commenting on yesterday's dramatic developments in Yugoslavia. However, he did not want to say more as he does not know exactly what is going on in the neighboring country.

    Similar statements were made by former Iraklis football team player, Ivan Jovanovic. "I don't know much. I haven't spoken with my friends in Yugoslavia for two days now. I can assess the situation only based on what I see on television. I wasn't able to have a telephone communication and this makes things harder. I just want to say that I want everything to be peaceful again. There should be no rioting and above all reason must prevail. I believe that in the next two days I will be able to assess the whole situation".

    Dragan Sakota, who was with Iraklis' basketball team, avoided to take a stand. "I was never involved in politics. Things are not good but I believe that some conclusions will be reached in the next two or three days. The only thing that is certain is that Yugoslavia will follow a new course".

    Volleyball coach Zoran Michailovic made a brief statement. "If we try to make an assessment based on what we hear and see the situation is difficult. No one can predict what will happen tomorrow".

    [09] KARAMANLIS: THE WILL OF THE SERB PEOPLE MUST BE RESPECTED

    The will of the Serb people must be respected, stated main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis, on the occasion of the developments in Yugoslavia. The main opposition party leader called on the Greek government to play the role of a catalyst in order to safeguard stability in the Balkans.

    Mr. Karamanlis stated that the will of the Serb people must be respected immediately, adding that there is no room for a violent overturning of the expressed will of the people. He also said that Greece's traditional friend in the Balkans must occupy again the position it deserves in the European scene.

    He also called on the European Union to prove in action that it can and want to help Yugoslavia in its difficult road ahead.

    [10] THE PRIME MINISTER ON THE DEVELOPMENTS IN YUGOSLAVIA

    Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis, in his speech today before the central committee of the governing socialist party of PASOK, referred to the latest developments in Yugoslavia and the political scene that is being formed in Belgrade.

    The prime minister stated characteristically that yesterday's developments in Yugoslavia confirmed in the most clear way that the Serb people voted for democratic change in their country. The developments also proved that the Greek government had followed the right policy. He said that Greece proved, through the initiatives it undertook, that it has knowledge of the region and exercised a consistent policy aimed at the consolidation of stability and security in the wider Balkan region.

    The latest rapid developments call for a calm, democratic and peaceful course that has to be followed in the neighboring country, said the prime minister, adding that Greece will always be on the side of the Yugoslav people and will always support Yugoslavia's course toward becoming a member of the European family.

    The developments in Yugoslavia prove that peace, democratic development and growth are still needed in the region and for this reason Greece has a significant role to play, said the prime minister.

    [11] GAINS OF 1.73% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Gains of 1.73% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today and the general index was at 4.027,09 points, while the volume of transactions was very satisfactory at 207 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today 248 recorded gains, 104 had losses and 24 remained unchanged.

    [12] THE GREEK AUTHORITIES ARE IN A STATE OF READINESS REGARDING THE GREEK STUDENTS IN YUGOSLAVIA

    The Greek foreign affairs ministry is in a state of readiness for any kind of intervention in case it is needed in order to evacuate the Greek students from Yugoslavia, according to ministry officials. Meanwhile, minister of education Petros Efthimiou stated that he contacted the Greek embassy in Belgrade and stressed that all the Greek students are safe.

    Tension was recorded yesterday outside the Macedonia-Thrace ministry building in Thessaloniki when parents of Greek students in Belgrade gathered to ask for the immediate return of their children to Greece and their transfer to Greek universities.

    [13] GREECE WILL CALL FOR THE LIFTING OF THE SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON YUGOSLAVIA

    The crucial developments in Yugoslavia after the latest events in the country will be the basic issue on the agenda of the EU general affairs council meeting that will be held in Luxembourg on Monday.

    Greece, which will be represented by foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou and deputy foreign minister Elisavet Papazoi, will ask for the immediate lifting of the sanctions imposed on Yugoslavia and the activation of the 2.3 trillion Euro account approved for the country's reconstruction in the next five years.

    The Greek government will also call for the immediate expansion of the Organization for the Reconstruction of the Balkans in Thessaloniki to include Serbia together with Kosovo and Montenegro.

    According to deputy foreign minister Elisavet Papazoi, the EU has accepted Greece's stance based on which, the candidate for EU membership western Balkan countries must respect the ethnic minorities on their territory and the inviolability of the existing borders. Also, Ms. Papazoi stated that the EU presidency will announce the establishment of a free trade zone between the EU and the Balkan states.

    [14] INFLATION CLOSED AT 3.1% IN SEPTEMBER

    The news from the inflation front in Greece are good. According to the National Statistics Agency, inflation in Greece in the month of September was at 3.1% compared to 3.5% in the month of August.

    [15] THE CAUSES OF THE "SAMINA" TRAGEDY ARE BEING INVESTIGATED

    The investigation on the causes of the "Samina" tragedy continues. The two special magistrates investigating the conditions under which the shipwreck took place are in the Aegean island of Syros and work together with investigator Ilias Stefanatos, who was appointed by the ministry of merchant marine.

    At the moment, the investigation has focused on a telephone call ship mate Tasos Psychogios received just before the "Samina" crashed on the rocky islet, about 2 nautical miles outside the port of the island of Paros. According to information, Psychogios had received a phone call on his mobile phone by a crew member of another ship sailing in the region warning him that the "Samina" was off course.

    The special magistrate is expected to call for questioning all those who are involved in the shipwreck one way or another, while written documents and other findings retrieved by the divers from the sunk ship are also being examined.

    [16] GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN - YUGOSLAVIA

    Developments in Yugoslavia move toward a positive direction, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, pointing out that a new page with a European orientation has been turned in the neighboring country.

    Mr. Reppas referring to yesterday's developments in Yugoslavia expressed satisfaction over the fact that the Greek policy was vindicated, saying that Greece's role proved to be useful. He said that from the first moment Greece had disagreed with the interventions in Yugoslavia and Milosevic's indictment for war crimes by the International Court of Justice in The Hague. He said that the political powers must handle the crisis with a sense of responsibility to safeguard the transfer to a new era.

    On the fate of Milosevic and his family, the Greek government spokesman underlined that the issue must be handled by the political powers in Yugoslavia and that Greece in cooperation with them will do everything possible to settle the issue. However, he added that Greece will not become a country that will receive individuals requesting political asylum, and that it will act within the framework of the European Union decisions. He said characteristically that Greece will not offer its territory and its airports to Mr. Milosevic or other officials.

    On Mr. Kostunica, he said that he enjoys the recognition of the European leaders and the Russian president, adding that he is a credible debater and his message to the Yugoslav people showed that he is aware of his responsibilities.

    The Greek government spokesman left open the likelihood of a visit by the Greek foreign minister to Belgrade by saying that Mr. Papandreou is always welcomed in the neighboring country.

    Finally, referring to the Greek students in Yugoslavia he said that the Greek embassy is in constant contact with them.

    [17] COHEN - CAKMAKOGLU MEETING IN THESSALONIKI

    Turkish minister of defense Sabahadin Cakmakoglu will meet with his US counterpart William Cohen in Thessaloniki on Monday. The meeting is scheduled to last half an hour and will take place after the summit meeting of defense ministers from south-eastern Europe.

    The Turkish minister of defense is expected to arrive at Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport on Sunday on board a private plane and in the afternoon of that day he will visit the Turkish consulate and the house of Kemal Ataturk.

    [18] A UKRAINIAN AIRPLANE IS GROUNDED AT THE AIRPORT OF THESSALONIKI

    Relatives of the victims of the December 1997 air tragedy at the Pieria Mountains, west of Thessaloniki, were able to order through their lawyers the grounding of an airplane belonging to the Ukrainian airline "Aerosweet" based on a court decision concerning the compensation claims submitted by them.

    The "Boeing 737" airplane arrived at Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport yesterday at noon on a regular flight from Kiev. The relatives of the Yakovlev victims maintained that tens of lawsuits are pending in civil courts claiming compensation for the deaths of their loved ones and therefore, the grounding of the airplane was imperative until the court procedures are over.

    Another airplane of the same company had been grounded in January 1998 about a month after the air tragedy in which 73 people lost their lives. The airplane remained grounded at Macedonia Airport for 9 months. It was released when Ukrainian company representatives submitted letters of guarantee regarding the compensation claims by the victims' relatives.


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