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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-10-12

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 12, 2000

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [01] US-GREEK RELATIONS HONORED BY EMBASSY EVENTS
  • [02] ONASSION FOUNDATION SUBSIDIARY TO OPEN IN NY
  • [03] MEASURES IN EFFECT FOR BOOSTING US-GREEK TIES
  • [04] PRESIDENT OF HELLENIC REPUBLIC IN ESTONIA
  • [05] RUSSIAN FM IVANOV ON OFFICIAL VISIT TO ATHENS
  • [06] GEORGE KOSKOTAS CONFIDENT OVER PAROLE HEARING
  • [07] GREEK PM DEPARTS TODAY FOR EU SUMMIT IN BIARRITZ
  • [08] BRITISH ENERGY UNDERSECRETARY VISITS ATHENS
  • [09] STATE TO ENFORCE CODE OF CONDUCT FOR CABBIES
  • [10] GREECE,NORWAY IN MARINE ARCHAEOLOGY PROJECT
  • [11] THE FLIGHTS OF GREEK FIGHTER JETS WERE SUSPENDED IN TURKEY
  • [12] PAPOUTSIS: THE BLACKMAIL BY THE COASTAL SHIPPING COMPANIES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED
  • [13] TRACK AND FIELD: GREECE WILL PARTICIPATE IN THE YOUNG ATHLETES' WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WITH A 22-MEMBER TEAM
  • [14] INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF DRUG RELATED DEATHS IN GREECE
  • [15] PROPOSAL FOR GREEK-BULGARIAN-TURKISH COOPERATION IN CASE OF NATURAL DISASTERS
  • [16] BIG LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [17] PAPANDREOU-IVANOV MEETING
  • [18] REPPAS: KOSTUNICA EXPRESSED INTEREST IN MEETING WITH SIMITIS
  • [19] REPPAS ON THE DEPORTATIONS OF KURDS
  • [20] BULGARIAN OFFICIALS MET WITH THE DEAN OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MACEDONIA
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
  • [21] ALBANIA BEATS GREECE 2-0 IN A WORLD CUP MATCH
  • [22] RUSSIA WILL BACK THE TALKS ON CYPRUS

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] US-GREEK RELATIONS HONORED BY EMBASSY EVENTS

    The United States Embassy in Athens is the host of a series of events highlighting the history of the relationship between Greece and the US, and examining the future relations between the two countries.

    The events were kicked off yesterday with the unveiling of the George C. Marshall statue in the US Embassy grounds, commemorating the efforts of the American statesman to aid Greece and heal its wound, following the World War II and the three-year Nazi occupation.

    The unveiling ceremony was conducted by US Ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns and the Mayor of Athens Dimtiris Avramopoulos.

    A great part of the funds for the statue were donated by the American Hellenic Progressive Educational Association (AHEPA), as the project was initiated by the Greek-American non-governmental organization.

    Addressing a press conference, AHEPA President Johnny Economy, announced that AHEPA will undertake an active role in the promotion and organization of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and will organize volunteer teams of young Greek-Americans.

    [02] ONASSION FOUNDATION SUBSIDIARY TO OPEN IN NY

    The Onassion Foundation will open a subsidiary center at the Olympic Tower in Manhattan, New York, on October 24, whose operation will be inaugurated with an exhibition of the Parthenon sculptures' molds.

    An exhibition of paintings by 20th century Greek artists will also be hosted on the Foundation's premises and will be carried out in cooperation with the National Gallery.

    The executive director of the Onassion Foundation in New York is Ambassador Loukas Tsilas.

    [03] MEASURES IN EFFECT FOR BOOSTING US-GREEK TIES

    A diverse series of measures is presently in effect for the strengthening relations between the United States and Greece, ranging from the sector of technology to art.

    Among them, the Initiative for Technology Cooperation in the Balkans (ITCB) intends to bring together scientists, business leaders and government officials who are committed to modernizing the region's technological infrastructure. Greece's location and advanced development make the country a natural connection to the emerging democracies and markets of Southeastern Europe.

    The US Fulbright Exchange Program has established two new programs -Millennium Scholarships, which will provide assistance to up to 200 Greek students wishing to pursue Master's degrees in the US; and the Aegean Communities Exchange, which will create joint research programs by Greek and Turkish scholars. One of the Millennium Scholarships will be named in honor of Yiannos Kranidiotis, Greece's alternate foreign minister who died in a tragic air accident last year.

    Also, the US Embassy and the Greek National Tourism Organization (EOT) have reached an understanding confirming their desire to facilitate tourism and business associated with tourism between the two countries.

    Moreover, the United States has pledged to form a Visit USA Committee in Athens to promote tourism to U.S. destinations. In addition, both countries will work to preserve and enhance each other's cultural heritage, to encourage communication between Greek and American cities, and to continue bilateral consultations.

    [04] PRESIDENT OF HELLENIC REPUBLIC IN ESTONIA

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos continues his tour of the Baltic states, with a state visit to Estonia where he was received at the Presidential Mansion by President Lennart Meri.

    During their talks, Messrs. Stephanopoulos and Meri discussed the bilateral relations between the two countries and the situation in Europe.

    Following their talks, the Greek President stated that the meeting focused on the European Uion's future and its eastward expansion, especially Estonia's accession to the community

    Greek-Estonian relations are presently on a good standing and steadily developing, with Greece lending its support to Estonian efforts to become a member of the European Union and NATO.

    Bilateral economic relations have great potential due to the fact that Estonia has been invited to the first wave of EU accession talks.

    Greek businesses have shown an increasing interest towards the Baltic state and in particular in the fields of maritime transport, port construction, shipbuilding, high technology, science, forestry, agriculture, food, textiles and furniture.

    Estonia is particularly interested in cooperation in the tourism sector. The two countries have signed four agreements covering the promotion and reciprocal protection of investments, abolishment of visa requirements, maritime transport and international road transport.

    Bilateral trade is steadily rising, with Estonian exports to Greece having increased from 2.5 million kroons to 33.5 million in the period 1995-1999, and imports having grown from 13 million to 37.1 million kroons.

    Estonian exports to Greece totaled 30.3 million kroons in the first half of 2000, while imports totaled 20.9 million. Greece ranks as Estonia's 51st biggest trade partner and is its 60th biggest investor.

    [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 Greek counterpart George Papandreou to discuss the developments in Yugoslavia and the Cyprus issue.

    Mr. Ivanov was forced to postpone his scheduled arrival to Athens yesterday, due to prior engagements in the Middle East.

    The Russian FM will also meet with main opposition of New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis and the President of the Hellenic Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis. It remains unclear if Mr. Ivanov will meet with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, since the latter is to depart this 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 will sign an agreement of cooperation in the combat of economic crime.

    [06] GEORGE KOSKOTAS CONFIDENT OVER PAROLE HEARING

    The former chairman of the Bank of Crete, George Koskotas, who has served 12 years of a 25-year sentence for embezzling $210 million from the bank, is confident that the court will grant his request for early release during his parole hearing today.

    Released on a five-day furlough yesterday, Mr. Koskotas spearheaded a financial scandal that brought down the government in 1989, after he claimed that the late prime minister and PASOK party founder Andreas Papandreou ordered state companies to deposit funds with the bank, and took bribes from stolen money. Mr. Papandreou, who died in 1996, was cleared of all charges by a special court in 1992 and was re-elected in 1993.

    Having fled the country then, Mr. Koskotas was arrested on November 23, 1988, in Massachusetts, and was jailed in the United States until his extradition to Greece in 1991.

    [07] GREEK PM DEPARTS TODAY FOR EU SUMMIT IN BIARRITZ

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis is to depart for Biarritz, France this afternoon, where he will take part in the European Union's informal summit conference that will be held tomorrow and Saturday.

    The summit will focus on the Intergovernmental Conference and revising the Amsterdam Treaty, while it will also examine the situation in the Balkans and developments in Yugoslavia.

    Yugoslavia's President-elect Voislav Kostunica has been invited by EU President Jacques Chirac to attend a dinner to be given on Saturday afternoon by the EU's 15 heads of government and state.

    The subject of rising oil prices is also expected to dominate the discussions, where "15" will examine the potential of a stabilizing market prices.

    [08] BRITISH ENERGY UNDERSECRETARY VISITS ATHENS

    The United Kingdom's undersecretary for Energy and Competition Elen Lintel (sp?) is to embark today on a two-day official visit to Athens, where she will be received by Greece's ministers of Development Nikos Christodoulakis, Labor Tasos Yiannitsis and National Economy Yiannos Papantoniou.

    On October 14, the British undersecretary will attend a Hellenic-British conference titled "Greece - Britain: A New Look in Relations Between the Two Countries", which is organized by the British embassy in Athens and the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), with the close collaboration of the British Council and the London School of Economics.

    [09] STATE TO ENFORCE CODE OF CONDUCT FOR CABBIES

    The Ministry of Transportation is to enforce a code of conduct for the country's taxis, outlining the cab drivers' responsibilities, as well as those of the passengers.

    The code, a copy of which will have to be posted in open view listing the driver's and vehicle owner's personal data, a price list, and an area map, prohibits the cabbies from driving intoxicated or under the influence of psychotropic drugs.

    Also, in an effort to put an end to what has become standard practice, the code calls on the drivers not to make selective pick ups of passengers, unless the would-be customer is under the influence of drugs or intoxicated and unaccompanied by a sober individual.

    [10] GREECE,NORWAY IN MARINE ARCHAEOLOGY PROJECT

    Greece and Norway have embarked on a three-year project in the sector of marine archaeology, under the framework of cooperation between the two countries' culture ministries, where the Norwegian university of Trondheim will provide the Greek Culture Ministry's Department of Underwater Antiquities with technical support.

    The project makes use of a side-scan sonar attached to a fishing boat and a remotely-operated vehicle equipped with video and photographic cameras to investigate the sounds leading to ancient wrecks. A survey performed in the northern Sporades in September of 1999 revealed a 12th century wreck, 60 meters deep.

    According to the Culture Ministry's secretary-general Lina Mendoni, the project aims at the creation of a database of sunken antiquities, an impossible feat under traditional methods.

    [11] THE FLIGHTS OF GREEK FIGHTER JETS WERE SUSPENDED IN TURKEY

    A serious setback has been recorded in the NATO exercise that is being held in the Aegean and south-eastern Mediterranean with the participation of Greek forces.

    The leadership of the alliance's south-eastern wing with a top secret signal gave the operational control of the Aegean directly to the Turkish military commander for the duration of the specific exercise. It should be noted that it is the first time that something like this happens. According to this decision, the Turkish jets participating in the exercise would have been able to violate the Greek airspace with NATO's approval, while the Turks had also requested the exclusion of the air corridors over the Greek islands of Limnos and Ikaria that were initially included in the exercise plan.

    The reaction of the Greek side was immediate. Air Force chief Lieutenant General Manousos ordered the Greek pilots not to fly with their Turkish colleagues and the Greek National Defense General Staff in an urgent meeting decided to suspend the participation of the 6 Greek F-16 jets that were taking part in the NATO exercise. This decision will be in effect until the differences are settled.

    [12] PAPOUTSIS: THE BLACKMAIL BY THE COASTAL SHIPPING COMPANIES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED

    Minister of merchant marine Christos Papoutsis issued a strong warning to shipowners who decided to immobilize their ships on October 27 in protest for the fact that they were allegedly publicly humiliated after the "Samina" tragedy near the island of Paros.

    Mr. Papoutsis characterized the statement issued by the 18 coastal shipping companies as provocative and stressed that no blackmail will be accepted. He also announced that all the passenger ship permits that are still pending will be examined next week taking under consideration the transportation needs of the islands.

    [13] TRACK AND FIELD: GREECE WILL PARTICIPATE IN THE YOUNG ATHLETES' WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WITH A 22-MEMBER TEAM

    Greece will participate in the World Track and Field Championship for young athletes that will take place in Santiago, Chile on October 17-22 with a 22member team, made up of 18 men and 4 women.

    The Greek team will leave on Saturday and the goal of its members will be to make a good appearance and break records.

    [14] INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF DRUG RELATED DEATHS IN GREECE

    An increase of 81.5% was recorded in the drug related deaths in Greece in the past five years, according to figures included in the annual report issued by the European Center for the control of drugs and drug addiction. According to the report, Greece together with Ireland and Portugal are among the EU states with a significant increase in the number of deaths because of drug use, while the number of drug related deaths in Spain, France, Italy and Germany has dropped or stabilized.

    A sharp increase was recorded in Greece in 1994 with 146 drug related deaths, while the previous year the deaths were 78. From then on there has been a continuous rise. Specifically, 176 deaths in 1995, 222 in 1996, 232 in 1997, 245 in 1998 and 265 in 1999.

    In all European Union countries there has been a sharp increase in the use of inhaled substances mainly by children, while an increase is recorded in the use of drug cocktails made up of "ecstasy", amphetamines and other drugs.

    [15] PROPOSAL FOR GREEK-BULGARIAN-TURKISH COOPERATION IN CASE OF NATURAL DISASTERS

    Thessaloniki's Aristotle University geology professor Mr. Pavlides, who specializes in earthquake geology, tabled a proposal for the cooperation of Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria in case of natural disasters such as, earthquakes and floods.

    According to his interview with the Alexandroupolis newspaper "Gnomi", the goal of the proposal is to study the natural disasters within the framework of the inter-state cooperation with Turkey and Bulgaria.

    The proposal concerns risk assessment and the drawing-up of measures to deal with the disasters with an emphasis to the earthquake risk in the regions of western and eastern Thrace, the Sea of Marmara and south-eastern Bulgaria. The cost of the proposal is estimated at 300 million drachmas and the necessary funds will come from the European program Interreg III.

    [16] BIG LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Big losses of 1.93% were recorded again in the Athens Stock Exchange today with the general index at 3.808,30 points, while the volume of transactions was at 142 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today 35 recorded gains, 318 had losses and 22 were stable.

    It is the fourth negative session in a row increasing the negative climate and the insecurity regarding the short-term course of the Greek stock market.

    [17] PAPANDREOU-IVANOV MEETING

    Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov, who is on a formal visit to Athens, met today with his Greek counterpart Giorgos Papandreou and their talks focused on the developments in Yugoslavia, the Cyprus issue and the Middle East. The two ministers also signed a cooperation agreement for the exchange of information on economic and financial violations, while they underlined the excellent level of bilateral relations.

    In statements he made, Mr. Papandreou thanked Mr. Ivanov on behalf of the Greek government for the efforts made by Russia for the fair solution of the Cyprus problem. He also reiterated Greece's firm position for a federal two-zone, two-community solution that will respect the UN resolutions, the territorial integrity of Cyprus and the existing borders. Referring to Russia's role in the UN, Mr. Papandreou stressed its significant position in the UN Security Council, while Mr. Ivanov pointed out that the two sides need to strengthen their cooperation in the handling of international problems.

    On the developments in Yugoslavia, Mr. Papandreou and Mr. Ivanov pointed out that the priority for the Greek and Russian policy is to help Yugoslav president Kostunica in the reorganization of his country. Mr. Ivanov also briefed Mr. Papandreou on the developments in the Middle East.

    Later, the two foreign ministers attended the events held at the Acropolis on the occasion of the liberation of Athens from the Germans.

    [18] REPPAS: KOSTUNICA EXPRESSED INTEREST IN MEETING WITH SIMITIS

    Prime minister Kostas Simitis will be probably the first European leader after French president Jacques Chirac, who is currently holding the EU rotating presidency, to meet with Yugoslav president Voijslav Kostunica.

    According to Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, the new president of Yugoslavia has expressed interest in meeting with the Greek prime minister on the sidelines of the summit meeting in Biarritz, France where he will have a working lunch with the 15 EU leaders.

    [19] REPPAS ON THE DEPORTATIONS OF KURDS

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas denied the rumors according to which, the recent deportations of Kurds from Greece were made after an intervention of Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem to his Greek counterpart Giorgos Papandreou.

    Specifically, Mr. Reppas stated that Greece does not accept lists from any foreign official, adding that every move is made taking under consideration the safety of the country and the citizens as well as the country's interests. He also stated that the responsible agencies act on the basis of the facts at their disposal.

    [20] BULGARIAN OFFICIALS MET WITH THE DEAN OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MACEDONIA

    Bulgarian ambassador to Athens professor Kiril Topalov and consul general Ilko Shivachev visited University of Macedonia dean professor Giorgos Tsiotras in Thessaloniki.

    Their talks focused on issues concerning the cooperation of the University of Macedonia with the Bulgarian universities and mainly with the University of Sofia.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [21] ALBANIA BEATS GREECE 2-0 IN A WORLD CUP MATCH

    Albania beat Greece 2-0 in a World Cup European Group Nine qualifying match in Tirana last night.

    Speaking to the Macedonian Press Agency, the Albanian national soccer team's coach Meidin Zega characterized the victory as a "historic"one, adding that "it was the best gift the team could have given to the Albanian people."

    Albania scored with Alban Bushi in the 50th minute and with Ervin Fakaj in the 92nd minute.

    The match was watched by a crowd of 20,000, among them the country's political leadership.

    Greece now has two defeats and one win in the tournament. It beat Finland 1-0 in its second match in Athens last Saturday, gaining its first three points, and lost 2-0 away to Germany in the first qualifying match.

    [22] RUSSIA WILL BACK THE TALKS ON CYPRUS

    Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov wrapped up his short visit to Cyprus giving the assurance that Russia will work for the strengthening of the inter-community dialogue under the UN auspices, while he also pledged that Moscow will continue to back the UN secretary-general services for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Cypriot foreign minister Yiannakis Kasoulides stated that Mr. Ivanov's presence is a gesture for the promotion of closer friendship and cooperation relations at a bilateral level, pointing out that the present efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem were discussed extensively.

    The Russian foreign minister also met with Cypriot president Glafkos Clerides and signed a protocol of cooperation with his Cypriot counterpart.


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