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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 98-02-06
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN BY THE MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY
Thessaloniki, February 6, 1998
NEWS IN DETAIL
 ADVERSE WEATHER STRIKES NORTHERN GREECE, ONE PERSON IS DEAD
Thessaloniki, February 6 (MPA)One person has been killed and a series of catastrophes have taken place in northern Greece, due to the strong gale and rainfall that has stricken the area.
Meanwhile, transportation between the cities of Alexandroupolis and Komotene is hampered by floods and falling rocks, and the Greek Railway Organization (OSE) is not going to conduct the Alexandroupolis-Ormenios route. It has been snowing since this morning in Thessaloniki.
 GREEK FARMERS TO BLOCK OFF NATIONAL HIGHWAY AT MALGARA SECTION
Athens, February 6 (MPA)Greek farmers are to block off the country’s national highway for two hours today at the Malgara section. Meanwhile other farmers are to proceed to similar mobilizations at the region of Tempi, while this morning farmers blocked a section of the national highway Athens-Kalamata. The Minister of Press and Media Dimitris Reppas has reiterated that the farmers should discuss their concerns with the Minister of Agriculture Stephanos Tzoumakas.
 COUNCIL OF GREEKS ABROAD TO CONVENE IN THESSALONIKI TOMORROW
Thessaloniki, February 6 (MPA)The First Regular session of the newly-elected presidium of the Council of Greeks Abroad (SAE) is to convene in Thessaloniki tomorrow and Sunday.
One of the topics that will be discussed is the organization of Olympics for the youth living abroad and the SAE’s cooperation for the Olympic Games of 2004. The members of the presidium are to meet with the minister of Culture Evangelos Venizelos.
 GREEK MINISTER OF NATIONAL ECONOMY AND FINANCE IN LONDON
London, February 6 (MPA)Greece’s National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou embarked on is official visit to London yesterday, where he presented a speech titled "Greece in the next millennium," sponsored by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
Mr. Papantoniou held talks with his British counterpart Gordon Brown, who told him that the positive course of the Greek economy is expected to attract the interest of British investors. According to Mr. Papantoniou, Mr. Brown expressed his government's intention to play a more active economic role in the Balkans, utilizing possibilities offered by Greece. He also spoke of the possibilities of establishing joint enterprises and developing common initiatives in the wider region.
In his speech, Mr. Papantoniou stressed that the Greek government today enjoyed a broad political consensus for measures aimed to promote Greece's participation in Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).
"Greece is the only stable factor, a member of the EU and NATO and other international organizations in southeastern Europe.
It is the only country which combines the advantages of a developed economy, adequate infrastructure, and political stability. It is in an excellent geographical position, and possesses the potential to expand even more its economic access to the Balkans, the Black Sea, CIS countries, the Middle East etc. It is thus a bridge between east and west, ready to accept foreign investment," he added.
Setting out the Greek economy's present positive picture, Mr. Papantoniou said the country would be ready to meet Maastricht criteria in 1998-99, so as to participate in the third phase of EMU on Jan. 1, 2001. He referred to the program for the privatization of public enterprises and the efforts for reducing public expenses, as well as the restructuring and modernization of ailing utilities, particularly in the transport sector.
"The business community in Greece is showing new dynamism, becoming more extrovert, and is efficiently utilizing the opportunities of the new markets. Business confidence was won through the stability in government and in the implementation of the macro -economic policy," he said.
"Foreign investors also have every reason to invest in Greece, which is the country with some of the largest infrastructure projects in Europe today in the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors," he added.
 PRESIDENT OF GREEK PARLIAMENT MEETS WITH RUSSIAN DEPUTIES
Athens, February 6 (MPA)The President of the Hellenic Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis received the members of the Russian parliament's Russian-Greek Friendship Group yesterday, to whom he stressed the need for a security system that would include the whole of Europe.
Emphasizing "close, friendly relations" between the Russian and Greek peoples, Mr. Kaklamanis also expressed his appreciation for Russia's assurances regarding the recent agreement signed with Cyprus for the purchase of Russian S-300 missiles.
The Russian delegation conveyed an invitation to Mr. Kaklamanis from his Russian counterpart to pay an official visit to Moscow.
 GREEK FOREIGN UNDERSECRETARY RECEIVED BY BRITISH LEADERS
London, February 6 (MPA)Greece’s Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis paid a one-day visit to London on Wednesday, upon the invitation of Sir David Hannay, the special representative of the European Union's presidency on the Cyprus issue and the personal envoy of British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Euro-Turkish relations.
Mr. Kranidiotis was also received by British Undersecretary of State for European Affairs Doug Henderson and the British Foreign Ministry's political director Mr. Greenstock.
The talks focused on Cyprus' accession to the EU, the formula for the Turkish Cypriots' participation in the delegation that will hold the accession negotiations and developments in relations between the EU and Turkey.
According to reports, the British officials expressed their interest over the proposal the government of Cyprus will submit for the Turkish Cypriots' participation in the group to conduct accession negotiations. The British officials also briefed Mr. Kranidiotis on the British presidency's intention to convene an EU-Turkey association council in May.
 THESSALONIKI TO HOST TRANSPORTATION CONFERENCE
Thessaloniki, February 6 (MPA)Thessaloniki is to host the Conference of Transport and Transit Trade in Southeast Europe from June 4-6, an event organized by HELEXPO, the organizer of the Thessaloniki International Fair, in cooperation with the Department of Communications Technology of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
The event is to address legal and administrative issues pertaining to difficulties encountered in crossing borders, methods and practices associated with multimodal transport in light of new technology and the use of logistics, multimodal transport corridors and infrastructure (terminals and junctions), networks, services and international cooperation.
Among those participating in the conference will be senior officials and representatives of European Union directorates, the ministries of transport and communications, of environment, town planning and public works, of finance, of merchant marine, universities, cultural foundations of Austria, Bulgaria, Germany and other countries and transport organizations.
 SAE EMBARKS ON INITIATIVE TO RE-OPEN CHALKI THEOLOGY SCHOOL
Washington, February 6 (MPA)The Council of Greeks Abroad (SAE) is to embark on a world- wide campaign aimed at having the Chalki School of Theology reopened, to be officially inaugurated on March 12 in Washington during a ceremony that will be attended by a score of US officials and international dignitaries.
The President of SAE Andrew Athens has recently visited Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos and they made a joint visit to the Chalki School of Theology.
Mr. Athens told Patriarch Vartholomeos that all SAE bodies will participate in the international campaign, while he also pledged that SAE will do everything in its power to assist the patriarchate in achieving economic independence. The historic school was shut down in 1973 after a Turkish government decision.
 TURKISH DIPLOMAT THANKS GREEK MERCHANT MARINE FOR RESCUE EFFORTS
Athens, February 6 (MPA)The Turkish Consul General in Greece, Yasar Togo, has expressed his "heartfelt thanks" to the Search and Rescue Center of the Merchant Marine Ministry for the gigantic operation launched to save the crew of a Turkish freighter which sank off the coast of Euboia in December.
In a letter forwarded to the Center, Mr. Togo also expressed gratitude for the efforts made to find a Turkish seaman who was missing after the ship sank on December 10.
Eleven crew members of the 996-ton "S. Ugurlu", sailing from Thessaloniki to Italy with a cargo of magnesium ore, were rescued in the operation.
Mr. Togo wrote that "this exemplary effort" of the Search and Rescue Center and the coast guard officers of Kymi, Euboia "contributes further to the strengthening of friendly relations between Greece and Turkey".
 GREEKS AND ARMENIANS CELEBRATE THREE MILLENNIA OF FRIENDSHIP
Geneva, February 6 (MPA)The Greek and Armenian communities of Geneva have embarked on four-day celebrations marking the three thousand years of friendship between the two peoples, in a series of events that are to be attended by the Ministers of Culture of both Greece and Armenia.
Speaking to the Swiss daily "Tribune de Geneve", one of the organizers of the event stated that the exiles and the common struggle against the common enemy have brought the two peoples closer.
Armande Gespard stated also that similar events can include other nationalities such as the Kurds.
 ANOTHER ACCOUNT OF MASS GRAVES IN CYPRUS BROUGHT TO LIGHTNicosia, February 6, (MPA)
Another account of mass graves containing the bodies of Greek- Cypriots hostages murdered by Turks, has been reported by a Kurdish individual Ali Hak.
In videotaped testimony, Mr. Hak stated that he buried 60 women, children and soldiers who had been murdered by the Turks, in holes dug by an excavator. The said videotape belonged to Theofilos Georgiades, who was murdered in 1994, and its content is now publicized in the Cypriot periodical “Selides”.
According to the testimony, Mr. Hak was ordered the dig 3-4 meter-deep grave in order to throw in the bodies. Among those murdered were children seven to 11 years old and about 20-25 soldiers. He claims that he can identify the site of the graves, while he also stated that he witnessed the murders of six other persons. He also said that he didn’t report these events because he was afraid of the consequences.
Complete archives of the Macedonian Press Agency bulletins are available on the MPA Home Page at http://www.mpa.gr/ and on the U.S. mirror at http://www.hri.org/MPA/