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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 98-02-18
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 18, 1998
NEWS IN DETAIL
 PREMIER CHAIRS MEETING ON GREEK-TURKISH ISSUES
Athens, February 18 (MPA)The Greek government is expected to prompt Ankara to seek recourse with the International court of Justice at The Hague, in response to the proposal submitted by Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ismael Cem on holding a dialogue spanning all issues pending between the two neighbors.
Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is to chair a ministerial conference today wherein the participants are to examine the said proposal.
 MEASURES FOR LOSS-MAKING OLYMPIC AIRWAYS IN TWO MONTHS
Athens, February 18 (MPA)Following yesterday’s meeting between National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and Transport and Communications Minister Tasos Mantelis, the latter stated that measures for the revitalization of Olympic Airways are to be enacted within two months for the national air carrier and six months for the country’s remaining public utilities companies (DEKOS).
Mr. Mantelis said the operational plans of the public enterprises would first be submitted to dialogue with staff before final decisions are adopted. Before yesterday's meeting, Mr. Mantelis said the six-month deadline given by the government for management and employees to find solutions to the problems of public enterprises (DEKOs) other than OA and the Greek Post Office (ELTA) would be adhered to.
Before the deadline, managements will have to have submitted their programs concerning work regulations, economic revitalization and business plans.
 RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS MOUNT ATHOS
Thessaloniki, February 18 (MPA)Russia’s Foreign Minster Gevgeni Primakov, currently on an official visit to Greece, visited the holy community of Mount Athos yesterday, accompanied by his Greek counterpart Theodoros Pangalos.
Following his meeting last evening with the minister of Macedonia-Thrace Philippos Petsalnikos, Mr. Primakov stated that Greece is Russia’s hopeful and gifted fiend and added that Moscow wants to develop its ties with Athens since Greece holds a significant role in the Balkans and is active in the cooperation sector of the Black Sea region and the Mediterranean.
Mr. Primakov said after talks in Athens yesterday with Mr. Pangalos that Greece and Russia did not consider the use of force to be expedient in the case of the Iraqi crisis, since this would have serious repercussions in the broader region. He stressed, however, that both countries agreed that the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq must be neutralized.
 GREECE-RUSSIA SIGN INITIATIVE TO PROMOTE UN CHIEF’S VISIT TO IRAQ
Thessaloniki, February 18 (MPA)Greece’s Foreign Theodoros Pangalos and his Russian counterpart Gevgeni Primakov, currently on an official three-day visit to Greece, signed an initiative to promote UN secretary- general Kofi Annan's visit to Iraq, which aims at persuading Iraqi leadership to permit UN weapons inspections.
While in Thessaloniki, Mgrs. Pangalos and Primakov yesterday contacted several European Union counterparts, namely French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine, German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel and Belgian Foreign Minister Erik Derycke, making "specific efforts" for a political solution to the Iraqi crisis.
"From Thessaloniki airport we both communicated with Hubert Vedrine and we shall probably have contacts with other foreign ministers," Mr. Pangalos stated.
"There is a considerable danger and let us hope that the UN Secretary General is left to do his job without needless terms and conditions which will just make things more difficult. His final efforts could, with some understanding from the other side, bring some result," he added.
 EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT RECEIVES GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER IN CAIRO
Cairo, February 18 (MPA)Greece’s Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, currently on an official visit to Egypt, was received by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo yesterday.
During their talks, both men agreed that Iraq’s strongman Saddam Hussein should accept a UN Security Council resolution for a continuation of inspections for weapons of mass destruction. The two also agreed that the US should in no case proceed with a military intervention, as diplomatic possibilities were still in place.
"An invasion would create more problems in the Middle East than it would solve," Mr. Tsochatzopoulos said.
They also discussed current bilateral issues and the consequences of the Turkish-Israeli military agreement, stressing that Ankara functioned as a destabilizing factor in the eastern Mediterranean.
The Defense Minister’s visit ends in Alexandria today, as he is scheduled to meet with Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria and All Egypt Petros.
 ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH VARTHOLOMEOS TO VISIT CANADA
Montreal, February 18 (MPA)Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos is to visit six Canadian cities from March 25 to June 2, this being the first time ever an Ecumenical Patriarch travels to Canada officially.
The Ecumenical Patriarch’s stops will include Ottawa, Vancouver, Winnipeg, London, Toronto and Montreal.
Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien will welcome the Orthodox Prelate.
 ALBANIAN EX-PRESIDENT UNDERGOES SUCCESSFUL QUADRUPLE BY-PASS
Thessaloniki, February 18 (MPA)Albania’s former president Ramiz Alia is recovering satisfactorily after undergoing a quadruple by-pass operation at Thessaloniki's George Papanikolaou Hospital yesterday morning.
The four-hour operation on the 73-year-old man was performed by the head of the hospital’s cardiology unit, Panayiotis Spyrou.
Mr. Alia, who was admitted late Sunday night after arriving from Tirana, will remain in intensive care for two days before being moved to a hospital room to recuperate for another week.
Mr. Alia had been in intensive care in a Tirana hospital following a heart attack he suffered two weeks ago. His traveling expenses have been paid for by an anonymous Thessaloniki businessman. He had suffered his first heart attack six years ago while in an Albanian prison.
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/