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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-10-11

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 11, 2000

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [01] WITNESS: SECRET SERVICE AGENT WAS ON BOARD YAK
  • [02] INTERPOL PROBES THEFT OF GREEK ART FROM MADRID
  • [03] FIRST GREEK-SWISS PARLIAMENTARY COM/TEE FORMED
  • [04] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH CONDUCTS VISIT TO ROMANIA
  • [05] RUSSIAN FM IVANOV ON OFFICIAL VISIT TO ATHENS
  • [06] THEODORAKIS AMONG NOBEL PEACE PRIZE CANDIDATES
  • [07] IVANOV STILL IN M. EAST, POSTPONES VISIT TO ATHENS
  • [08] BALKAN RECONSTRUCTION BOARD MEETS IN NOVEMBER
  • [09] G/T BUSINESS CONFERENCE IN ATHENS NEXT MONTH
  • [10] US AMBASSADOR : NBC SELECTIVELY USED MY WORDS
  • [11] IOC OFFICIAL CALLS FOR TRUCE IN GREEK SQUABBLES
  • [12] PROJECTS PLANNED FOR HEPATITIS, AIDS PREVENTION
  • [13] GREEK PRIEST PUTS UP BAIL FOR THE RELEASE OF PRISONERS ALL OVER THE WORLD
  • [14] FIFA RANKS GREECE 32ND IN THE WORLD
  • [15] LOSSES OF 1.02% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [16] THE NEW TAX DRAFT BILL FOR 2001 WAS APPROVED BY THE PRIME MINISTER
  • [17] LALIOTIS: THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT ACCEPT ULTIMATUMS ON THE OLYMPIC GAMES
  • [18] REPPAS: THE STATEMENTS MADE BY NANO ARE UNACCEPTABLE
  • [19] AN ALBANIAN HELD HOSTAGES IN A GRILL-HOUSE IN ATHENS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
  • [20] JOINT CULTURAL ZONE BY GREECE AND CYPRUS
  • [21] ONLY ONE GREEK WOMAN CANDIDATE WAS ELECTED IN THE MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS IN BELGIUM
  • [22] TSOCHATZOPOULOS: GREECE PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE BALKANS
  • [23] THE METROPOLITE OF KERINIA THANKED THE CHURCH OF GREECE FOR ITS SUPPORT TO THE CYPRIOT PEOPLE
  • [24] EU AMENDMENT FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE GREEK MINORITY IN ALBANIA

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] WITNESS: SECRET SERVICE AGENT WAS ON BOARD YAK

    Addressing a court hearing in Thessaloniki yesterday, the relative of one the 73 victims of Aerosweet's Yakovlev-42 airplane, which crashed in the mountains southwest of Thessaloniki in December 1997, asserted that a Ukrainian secret service agent transporting 3.5 million dollars was among the passengers on board.

    Karafyllis Karafylloudis, who lost his daughter in the air tragedy, provided the court with the passport of Ukrainian secret service agent Igor Ivanchekov, along with two books and an aircraft register, which he claimed to have found at the crash site.

    Mr. Karafylloudis, a prosecution witness at the trial of two air traffic controllers who have been charged with manslaughter and traffic law violation, stated that Ivanchekov was carrying the enormous amount of said money which was found at the crash site. The three and a half million dollars were subsequently turned over to the state's Deposit and Loan Fund, a standard procedure when the recipient remains unknown.

    Mr. Karafylloudis, who has reportedly traveled repeatedly to Moscow and Odessa during the past three years to conduct his own investigation of the plane crash, maintained that "Ivanchekov was a secret service agent and was transporting a huge amount of money to Greece".

    The despondent father also told the court that he refused to turn over the evidence he gathered from the crash site to the investigating committee since, as he stated characteristically, he doesn't trust its members.

    He further claimed that shortly before the scheduled flight to Thessaloniki, Aerosweet officials replaced an originally- assigned Boeing aircraft with the ill-fated Yakovlev and modified certain parts and sections of the flight deck.

    [02] INTERPOL PROBES THEFT OF GREEK ART FROM MADRID

    Interpol officials are investigating the theft of three valuable drawings, on loan to the National Museum of Spain from the Thessaloniki's Kostakis collection, missing from Madrid's airport.

    The Russian drawings were sent by road to Athens and from there by air to Madrid, where airport employees supposedly took delivery of them on September 15.

    Thessaloniki's Museum of Contemporary Art paid 14 billion drachmas for the entire collection of the late George Kostakis. The 1,270 works of art have been stored since May 1997 in the city's Lazariston Monastery.

    [03] FIRST GREEK-SWISS PARLIAMENTARY COM/TEE FORMED

    A parliamentary committee of Greek and Swiss deputies has been set up for the first time, whose aim will be to promote political, economic and cultural relations between the two countries, the Permanent Mission of Greece in Geneva announced in a press release.

    Federal Parliament deputies Josef Zisyadis, and Deputy Barbara Polla, initiated the creation of the committee, which is the only one of its kind in Switzerland.

    Thirty-five Swiss deputies from all the parties, with the exception of the far-right, are to participate in the committee, which held its first session on September 27 and discussed Swiss- Greek economic relations.

    The committee will be meeting every second Wednesday of every Parliamentary session. Its second session will be held on December 6 on the issue of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and will be attended by Swiss Prime Minister Adolf Ogi. Committee deputies are scheduled to visit Greece February 1-4 to meet with their counterparts from the Greek Parliament, ministers and other state officials.

    [04] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH CONDUCTS VISIT TO ROMANIA

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos is presently conducting a visit to Romania where he will be honored today by Romania's Academy of Sciences and be awarded the title of honorary doctor.

    Mr. Vartholomeos was received in Bucharest yesterday by Romanian Prime Minister Mugur Isarescu and his adviser on religious affairs.

    Addressing Mr. Vartholomeos at a service at Bucharest's cathedral yesterday, Patriarch Theoktistos of Romania underlined the role the Ecumenical Patriarchate plays in the affairs of the Orthodox churches all over the world and expressed his pleasure that Vartholomeos frequently visited Romania.

    [05] RUSSIAN FM IVANOV ON OFFICIAL VISIT TO ATHENS

    Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov is presently in Athens where he is to meet with his counterpart George Papandreou and be received by Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

    The agenda of the talks are expected to focus on the developments in Yugoslavia and the Cyprus issue.

    Also today, the state's inner cabinet will convene to discuss foreign policy issues, while the foreign ministry will brief Mr. Simitis on the situation in Yugoslavia.

    [06] THEODORAKIS AMONG NOBEL PEACE PRIZE CANDIDATES

    Greece's world-renowned music composer Mikis Theodorakis is among the candidates for this year's Nobel peace prize, to be awarded on October 13 in Oslo, Norway.

    The candidates list comprises 21 individuals, international organizations, as well as the unusual nomination of a town. The list includes United States President Bill Clinton and former President Jimmy Carter for wide-ranging peace efforts, as well as former U.S. Senator George Mitchell for his efforts to resolve conflict in northern Ireland.

    Other nominees are northern Albania's town of Kukes, for accepting 150,000 refugees during the Kosovo conflict; former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari and former Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin for their Balkan peace efforts; South Korean President Kim Dae-jung for promoting good relations in Asia; and such organizations as the Salvation Army, Human Rights Watch and various church groups.

    In recent years, the committee has used the prize to encourage peace processes. In 1998, the prize went to Protestant David Trimble and Catholic David Hume to encourage the Northern Ireland peace talks. In 1994, the prize went to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli leaders Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres to help nurture the Middle East Peace process.

    Last year, the award went to the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders.

    This year's prize includes a $968,000 cash award, plus a medal and a diploma.

    [07] IVANOV STILL IN M. EAST, POSTPONES VISIT TO ATHENS

    Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov was forced to postpone his scheduled visit to Athens today, due to prior engagements in the Middle East.

    Mr. Ivanov will arrive in Athens tomorrow, where he will have successive meetings with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou and main opposition of New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis. It remains unclear if Mr. Ivanov will meet with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, since the latter is to depart tomorrow the afternoon for the European Union's Summit conference in France.

    The Russian Foreign Minister's scheduled visit to Thessaloniki and the all-male monastic community of Mount Athos has also been canceled.

    Messrs. Ivanov and Papandreou are to discus the developments in the Middle East, the Cyprus issue and the Balkan region, while they will sign an agreement of cooperation in the combat of economic crime.

    [08] BALKAN RECONSTRUCTION BOARD MEETS IN NOVEMBER

    The board of directors of the Balkan Reconstruction Organization is to convene in Thessaloniki on November 13, its first meeting following the political changes in Yugoslavia.

    Minister of Macedonia-Thrace George Paschalides is to take part in the meeting, which is awaited with interest after the decision drawn by the European Union's General Affairs Council to expand the Organization geographically so that it will encompass all of Yugoslavia's regions.

    [09] G/T BUSINESS CONFERENCE IN ATHENS NEXT MONTH

    The second Greek-Turkish business cooperation conference will be held in Athens next month, titled "Greece - Turkey - EU: Opportunities for business and economic cooperation".

    The two-day event will tackle issues pertaining tot he promotion of bilateral relations, while the Turkish entrepreneurs, whose delegation will be headed by former vice-president and ex- foreign minister Mesut Yilmaz, will have the opportunity to be briefed by EU commissioners on community regulations regarding trade and business activities.

    Moreover, the conference will provide the opportunity for the formation of joint ventures in the Black Sea region and central Asian countries.

    Mr. Yilmaz will be a keynote speaker during the opening of the conference.

    The conference is to feature the participation of over 300 business delegates from Turkey, Greece and other EU countries, as well as government officials from both countries and EU commissioners.

    [10] US AMBASSADOR : NBC SELECTIVELY USED MY WORDS

    Clarifying earlier statements made during a recent interview with an American television channel, United States Ambassador to Greece Nicholas Burns said yesterday that Athens will be able to handle the problem of terrorism during the 2004 Games, adding that the contents of his NBC interview were used selectively by the channel.

    The US diplomat also made the self-effacing comment that "even we (the US) haven't had perfect Olympic Games."

    Mr. Burns said that the phenomenon of terrorism should not be correlated with Greece's organization of the 2004 Games and stressed that the American government offer their full support to the Greek authorities.

    [11] IOC OFFICIAL CALLS FOR TRUCE IN GREEK SQUABBLES

    In the midst of persistent bickering among Greek government officials and Athens 2004 organizers, International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive Jacques Rogge has called for a "four- year truce" for the sake of the Olympic Games.

    "They cannot afford to quarrel," Mr. Rogue stated yesterday, "they have to unite. Now is the time to pull all the ranks together and work in a united way.

    "There have been a lot of controversies in the press about the alleged lack of cooperation between the organizing committee and the government," Mr. Rogge said, adding that "all of this is not positive. We need a very united collaboration between the organizers and the government."

    Meanwhile, IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch has called for Greece to follow the model of Sydney, which he called "the most successful ever".

    [12] PROJECTS PLANNED FOR HEPATITIS, AIDS PREVENTION

    A proposal for the creation of a medical center in Edirne, Turkey, for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, hepatitis B and C and AIDS, has been submitted by the chief of the Greek Social Security unit of preventive medicine in Alexandroupolis to the regional authorities.

    In a memo submitted to the Region of Eastern Macedonia- Thrace, Constantine Papoutselis proposes that the said center be found through the Interreg III program, while he also suggests that a Balkan Observatory be established for the selection of data on infectious diseases, which information would in turn be disseminated to the Greek, Bulgarian and Turkish Health ministries, in an effort to control disease outbreaks.

    Moreover, Mr. Papoutselis proposes the creation of a molecular biology laboratory in Bulgaria and Edrine, in an effort to import technological know-how to these countries, as well as the establishment of a mobile medical unit which could be dispatched to any Balkan region in need of first aid.

    The Greek Social Security's Alexandroupolis unit of preventive medicine has already founded centers for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases to five medical schools in Bulgaria, funded through Interreg I and II.

    In an interview with the Macedonian Press Agency, Mr. Papoutselis stated that the Turkish side has already accepted these proposals, starting with a blood drive between the two countries to be held this month at the customs office of Kipi.

    In regards to hepatitis B and C, Mr. Papoutselis said that while outbreaks of the said viruses in Thrace have been reduced to 2.8 percent, from 5.3% in 1995, there are certain areas in the region that continue to present a high rate, while outbreaks in both Turkey and Bulgaria continue to be on the rise.

    [13] GREEK PRIEST PUTS UP BAIL FOR THE RELEASE OF PRISONERS ALL OVER THE WORLD

    A Greek priest, archimandrite Gevrasios Raptopoulos is on the side of prisoners all over the world for the past 22 years, as he managed to release from prison 5.652 people by putting up bail with money he collected through fund raisers.

    According to the Thessaloniki newspaper "Makedonia", during that time he managed to collect the sum of 239 million drachmas.

    Father Gevrasios together with 800 people from the city of Serres launched the love walkathon to the Kassandra Prisons in 1978 bringing with them a sum of money that was used to put up bail for the release of a number of poor inmates.

    Since that day, he never stopped gathering information on jailed Greeks and foreigners who are unable to make bail and he tries to raise the necessary sum of money for their release. Recently, he was able to raise money for the release of a Greek who was held in the New Mexico Prisons, while a Greek sailor was also released from the Thailand prisons. According to Father Gevrasios, there is optimism on the course of the efforts for the release of three Greek sailors, who are held in the El Kanater Prisons in Egypt for the past three years accused of drug- trafficking.

    [14] FIFA RANKS GREECE 32ND IN THE WORLD

    FIFA ranked Greece 32nd in the world for the month of October. The Greek national football team is one place higher compared to last month with a total of 583 points after its victory on Finland with a 1-0 score in the 2002 World Cup preliminaries.

    The top place in the world is occupied by Brazil with 822 points, followed by France with 801 points and Argentina ranks third with 764 points. Greece's opponents in the Mundial preliminaries namely, Germany and England, rank 8th and 15th respectively.

    [15] LOSSES OF 1.02% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Losses of 1.02% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today and the general index dropped to 3.883,20 points. The volume of transactions was small at 70.6 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, just 64 recorded gains, 286 had losses and 25 remained unchanged.

    [16] THE NEW TAX DRAFT BILL FOR 2001 WAS APPROVED BY THE PRIME MINISTER

    Tax reductions of 220 billion drachmas for the year 2001 are included in the tax draft bill that was approved today by prime minister Kostas Simitis in a meeting with minister of national economy Yiannos Papantoniou. The overall package, that will include all the pre-election declarations made by the government for the next two-year period, will cost a total of 400 billion drachmas.

    The new draft bill will be presented in parliament by the end of October and in statements made on the 2001 state budget, Mr. Papantoniou stated that it will support economic development. Responding to the question how can the state revenues increase in spite of the fact that there will be no new taxes the minister of national economy stated that the revenues come from limiting tax evasion.

    [17] LALIOTIS: THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT ACCEPT ULTIMATUMS ON THE OLYMPIC GAMES

    Minister of environment, land planning and public works Kostas Laliotis referred to the 2004 Olympic Games before the governmental committee meeting today and responded to the statements made by International Olympic Committee, IOC, vice- president Jacques Rogg by stating that the Greek government does not accept ultimatums, adding that "they should leave us do our job".

    Mr. Rogg in an interview with the Associated Press News Agency had suggested the establishment of an Olympic Games ministry in Greece and called for the acceleration of the 2004 Olympic Games preparations, stressing that the Olympic Games projects must be ready by March 2003.

    The IOC vice-president characterized the Sydney Olympic Games as "the perfect games" and stressed that everybody must be united in Greece for the common good.

    [18] REPPAS: THE STATEMENTS MADE BY NANO ARE UNACCEPTABLE

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas characterized as unacceptable the statements made by Albanian Socialist Party president Fatos Nano, who called "criminals" the members of the ethnic Greek minority in Albania who are with the Human Rights Union Party.

    Mr. Nano made his statement on the occasion of a violent incident in the village of Drimades in the region of Himara where, according to the Socialist leader, the village priest was beaten up by members of the Human Rights Union Party because he had coffee with him.

    Mr. Reppas stated that such statements create problems in bilateral relations.

    [19] AN ALBANIAN HELD HOSTAGES IN A GRILL-HOUSE IN ATHENS

    An Albanian immigrant entered a grill-house in the region of Nea Smirni in Athens this afternoon and with the threat of a pistol held three employees hostage. The abductor was himself a former employee at the specific grill-house. A strong police force arrived immediately in the region and cordoned-off the surrounding streets.

    The hostages were released unharmed after the intervention of grill-house owner Michalis Papapantos and police mediators and Albanian Kusnik Elnezi was arrested.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [20] JOINT CULTURAL ZONE BY GREECE AND CYPRUS

    Greece and Cyprus formed a joint cultural zone based on the cooperation memorandum signed by the culture ministers of the two countries within the framework of the 28th Olympic Games. The memorandum will be in effect until the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

    It provides among others for cooperation in the drawing-up of proposals that will be submitted to the responsible agencies concerning the route that will be followed by the Olympic Flame in Cyprus, the public's information on issues concerning the 2004 Olympic Games, the planning and implementation of Olympic Training programs, the joint planning of cultural events for the promotion of the Olympic Ideals and the Olympic Spirit and the presentation of proposals for the participation of Cypriots as volunteers in the 2004 Olympic Games.

    [21] ONLY ONE GREEK WOMAN CANDIDATE WAS ELECTED IN THE MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS IN BELGIUM

    Fotini Droumboura was the only one of the 21 Greek candidates running in last Sunday's municipal elections in Belgium, who was able to be elected town councillor in the city of Anterleht with the Flemish Socialist Party after getting 383 votes.

    The Greeks, with double or foreign nationality, who live in Belgium were able for the first time to exercise their right to run in local elections. Of the 7.3 million registered voters in Belgium 2.554 were Greeks, while municipal elections are being held in the country every 6 years.

    [22] TSOCHATZOPOULOS: GREECE PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE BALKANS

    Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos stated that Greece has undertaken an important role in the Balkan region speaking in the informal meeting of the NATO defense ministers that was held in Birmingham, Britain yesterday.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos pointed out that the Organization for the Reconstruction of the Balkans will be activated in Thessaloniki within the framework of the Stability Pact and underlined that Greece has to play a very important role in the reconstruction of Serbia.

    The NATO defense ministers council also expressed its support to Yugoslavia's new president Voijslav Kostunica.

    [23] THE METROPOLITE OF KERINIA THANKED THE CHURCH OF GREECE FOR ITS SUPPORT TO THE CYPRIOT PEOPLE

    Metropolite Pavlos of Kerinia thanked the Church of Greece for the statement it issued yesterday in which it underlined its support to the struggling Cypriot people.

    In a letter addressed to Archbishop of Athens and All of Greece, Christodoulos, the Metropolite of Kerinia pointed out that in the present crucial times, due to the serious and dangerous turn taken by the Cyprus issue as a result of the continuous compromise and the painful concessions made by the governments in Greece and Cyprus, the statement issued by the Church of Greece "brought relief to our hearts".

    [24] EU AMENDMENT FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE GREEK MINORITY IN ALBANIA

    The safety and protection of ethnic minorities in Albania must be among the priorities of the Albanian government in order to make possible essential improvements in the social and economic sector, as it is mentioned in an amendment tabled by right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy Euro-deputy Christos Zacharakis that has been included in the relevant report issued by the Euro-parliament's foreign affairs committee on the EU action plan on Albania and the neighboring region.

    The basic goal of the specific action plan is the economic development of Albania aimed at stopping the immigration wave from Albania.

    According to the conclusions included in the report, if internal security in Albania is not improved there can be no essential improvements in the social and the economic sectors. At this point, Mr. Zacharakis suggested that the protection of the ethnic minorities must also be taken under consideration and his intervention was accepted by the responsible committee.


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