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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-05-02
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 GREEK FM: TALKS WITH CEM WERE CONSTRUCTIVEAthens, 2 May 2000 (10:56 UTC+2)
Greece's Foreign Minister George Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart Ismael Cem held an informal meeting in New York yesterday evening where the two men discussed the opportunities for further improving Greek-Turkish relations and achieving progress on the Cyprus issue.
Following the two-discussion, Mr. Papandreou stated that he and Mr. Cem "made an overall assessment of the situation in recent months, following the signing of the nine agreements between Greece and Turkey."
Furthermore, the Greek FM expressed the hope that progress will be achieved on the Cyprus issue during the third round of proximity talks to begin in New York on May 23.
According to the BBC, Mr. Papandreou also stated that during his forthcoming meeting with Secretary of state Madeleine Albright he plans to bring forth the issue that has arisen following the State Department's annual report on terrorism which levels accusations of inaction against Greece.
"Sometimes these reports are exaggerated," Mr. Papandreou stated, adding that the two countries enjoy close cooperation on the issue of terrorism.
Messrs. Papandreou and Cem will meet today with U.S. Ambassador to the UN Richard Holbrooke - the next Secretary of State if Al Gore is elected president - with whom they have often worked in the past given his then-capacity as presidential envoy on the Cyprus issue and in the Balkans.
Also today, the Foreign Ministers of Greece and Turkey will be declared "Personalities of the Year" by the East-West Institute and will take part in a conference themed "The Developments in Southeastern Europe".
Mr. Papandreou will travel to Washington tomorrow, where he will be received by US presidential envoy for Cyprus Alfred Moses and other members of the Congress.
 GREECE REJECTS TERRORISM POLICY ACCUSATIONSAthens, 2 May 2000 (10:33 UTC+2)
As soon as the US State Department issued its annual report on terrorism, wherein it levels accusations against Greece over its related policy, the Greek government rejected the document's claims.
Government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas stated that "the Greek government believes that direct or indirect accusations on our country's policy (on the issue of terrorism) cannot be accepted," and added that Athens remains steadfastly committed to the target of confronting the phenomenon.
"Greece is standing in the front line in combating terrorism and is participating actively in all international efforts, on an equal basis, with the criterion of domestic law and order and respect for democratic institutions and rights," he said.
 GREEKS VISITING KOSOVO ATTACKED, NO ONE HURTThessaloniki, 2 May 2000 (10:36 UTC+2)
A Greek bus transporting Greeks visiting their relatives serving in KFOR at Kosovo was attacked yesterday afternoon 60 kilometers north of Prishtina, although no one was hurt.
According to reports, the Greeks were on route from a visit to the Pecan orthodox monastery when armed men, whose nationality remains unknown, drove by and opened fire prior to speeding away.
The Greek KFOR troops escorting the bus didn't have a chance to return the fire which caused only material damages.
 THE INITIAL CONCLUSIONS REACHED BY THE CAPITAL MARKET COMMITTEEAthens, 2 May 2000 (18:21 UTC+2)
The Capital Market Committee which conducts the inquiry into the strange "behavior" of the Athens Stock Exchange on March 9, when prime minister Kostas Simitis was presenting Greece's file for EMU membership, came to the initial conclusion that massive sales of stocks had been made by foreign institutional investors through four specific brokerage houses during the time of Mr. Simitis' speech.
It should be reminded that during the prime minister's speech in Zappion Megaron building in Athens the general index of the Athens Stock Exchange had made a sudden plunge in spite of the fact that with the opening of the session it had followed an upward course while no political, economic or business development could justify such a violent drop.
Capital Market Committee chairman Stavros Thomadakis stated that the inquiry will continue.
 FILM DIRECTOR VASILIS GEORGIADIS DIED YESTERDAY AT THE AGE OF 79Athens, 2 May 2000 (18:06 UTC+2)
A very important Greek film and television director, Vasilis Georgiadis, died yesterday at the age of 79.
He was the creator of great films such as "The land was painted red", nominated for an Oscar, "The red lights", "That summer" and others. In his films the leading roles were played by great Greek actors and actresses such as Giorgos Fountas, Nikos Kourkoulos, Dimitris Papamichail, Giannis Voglis, Jenny Karezi, Mary Chronopoulou and Anna Fonsou.
His funeral will be held in his hometown of Xilokastro.
 GAINS OF 2.79% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 2 May 2000 (17:59 UTC+2)
The Athens Stock Exchange had gains of 2.79% today as the messages coming from Brussels, according to which the reports by the European Commission and the European Central Bank on Greece's accession into the EMU will be positive, have boosted the psychological state of investors and as a result the general index reached 4.368,21 points.
However, the volume of transactions remained small at 193.6 billion drachmas.
 OTE AND OLYMPIC AIRWAYS ARE THE TARGETS OF THE TRANSPORTATION MINISTRYAthens, 2 May 2000 (17:50 UTC+2)
A draft law for the full liberalization of the telecommunications sector is expected to be tabled in parliament by the transportation and telecommunications ministry before the end of the month within the framework of the government policy while at the same time, the action program that it has been drawn up will be promoted.
The main axes of that program concern the materialization of projects for the improvement of the city transportation, the airports and the railway infrastructure and it will be funded by the 3rd Community Framework of Support with 1.5 trillion drachmas.
The ministers of national economy and transportation and telecommunications are expected to have meetings to decide on the framework within which the Greek Telecommunications Organization, OTE, policy will move in view of the liberalization of the telecommunications market starting on January 1, 2001 and the creation of infrastructures that will cover the telecommunications needs of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
Finally, on the Olympic Airways front transportation minister Christos Verelis is concerned over the bad financial situation of the state airline and the likelihood of not being moved in time to the new airport of Spata in Athens.
 POLICE OFFICERS' DELEGATION FROM THESSALONIKI WILL VISIT ISTANBULThessaloniki, 2 May 2000 (17:27 UTC+2)
Police officers from Thessaloniki will leave for Istanbul tomorrow for a visit aimed at the further strengthening of friendship and cooperation with their Turkish colleagues. The 100member Greek delegation will be made up by police officers and their wives and members of Thessaloniki's Police Officers Club football team.
Greek Federation of Police Personnel spokesman Ioannis Vasiliadis stated to MPA that it is the first such contact which is aimed at the strengthening friendship, the improvement of cooperation and the exchange of views on issues concerning the tackling of crime and illegal immigration.
 GREEK ECONOMY REPORTS TO BE SUBMITTED TO EMCThessaloniki, 2 May 2000 (14:38 UTC+2)
The verdicts of the European Commission and European Central Bank regarding Greece's application for membership in the Economic and Monetary Union are to be released tomorrow and optimism abounds among government circles.
ECB governor Wim Duizenberg and Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs Pedro Solbes are to submit their views on the Greek economy to the Economic and Monetary Committee tomorrow at noon and, according to all indications, the voluminous report is a positive one.
The report is expected to contain suggestions as to how the Greek government should conduct its economy policy and correct weaknesses.
The next stage in the Greek application will come on May 26 when the economic and financial committee meets to discuss the issue. ECOFIN ministers will meet on June 6 to approve the application and Greece is expected to get the final okay on June 19 at the European Union summit in Portugal.
 SEVENTH THESSALONIKI FORUM TO BEGIN THIS MONTHThessaloniki, 2 May 2000 (14:21 UTC+2)
The seventh annual "Thessaloniki Forum" is widely viewed as the precursor of Southeastern Europe's reconstruction, as its role is being expanded from a mere format for business contacts.
To be held on May 8-9, the vent is jointly organized by the Industries Association of northern Greece and the Greek-American Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the Thessaloniki-based Organization for Balkan Reconstruction.
The forum will feature workshops in specific sectors of the economy, such as industry, energy, construction, informatics, telecommunications, marine industry, transportation, tourism, banking, finance and commerce.
Moreover, the participants will have the opportunity to discuss the course of the region's economies, Greece's cooperation with S.E. Europe following the country's accession to the EMU, as well as the new opportunities for Greek-Turkish cooperation.
 PUBLIC ORDER MINISTER TO U.S.: DEFINE TERRORISMAthens, 2 May 2000 (13:54 UTC+2)
Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysochoides believes that the State Department's annual report on global terrorism is unfair to Greece and has expressed his dismay at Greece's ranking second on the list, topped only by Columbia, wondering what exactly do the United States mean when they use the term "terrorism".
In an interview with the Athens radio station "Flash", Mr. Chrysochoides stated that the terrorism phenomenon in Greece is not quantitative, but, rather, a qualitative one localized on the "November 17" organization whose members have not been apprehended yet.
Concerning US-Greece cooperation in the sector, the Minister stated that it was established about ten years ago and is developing smoothly.
Moreover, he stated that the Greek services operate within the constitutional framework and, while the U.S. may want changes in Greece's anti-terrorism legislation, the said laws in the country are more than sufficient.
Lastly, Mr. Chrysochoides stressed that the issue is not a political one and should not affect relations between Greece and the U.S.
"It is a Greek issue," Mr. Chrysochoides stated, adding that "of course, the United States are interested since American citizens have lost their lives and we have an obligation to deal with this."
Nevertheless, he pointed out, "we have worked silently and systematically in order to see results in the battle against terrorism."
 COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT, PIRACY, DROPS IN GREECEAthens, 2 May 2000 (13:54 UTC+2)
Cases of copyright infringement and copyright piracy have significantly decreased in Greece, according to the White House's (report on intellectual property.
According to the report, which cites 1999 data, 16 trading partners are presently on the White House's ''Priority Watch List" namely, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, the EU, Egypt, Greece, Guatemala, India, Israel, Italy, South Korea, Malaysia, Peru, Poland, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.
In September of 1998 Greece passed legislation aimed at combating piracy and intellectual property violations with austere measures that at times included the shutting down of television stations that broadcast programming without a license.
 GREEK AND SERB PHOTOGRAPH EXHIBITION IN MAYKavala, 2 May 2000 (13:04 UTC+2)
An exhibition of works by thirty Greek and Serb photographers will be held in the norhtern Greek city of Kavala during May, featuring shots from an annihilated Belgrade and other regins of the former Yougoslavia.
The exhbition will run within the framework of the "Photographic Stpring" event, and is being oreganized by the municipal museum.
 BULGARIA: THE "CHERNOBYL" VIRUS HIT 1.700 COMPUTERSSofia, 2 May 2000 (18:37 UTC+2)
The so-called "Chernobyl" virus, which was activated on April 26, hit 1.700 computers in Bulgaria. The virus got its name from the Ukrainian city where the nuclear accident happened 14 years ago.
In April 1999, the virus had struck 1.500 computers in Bulgaria according to Evgeni Nikolov, director of the National Laboratory against Electronic Viruses.
Mr. Nikolov stated that the "Chernobyl" virus hits the computers that do not have anti-virus protection systems and the restoration of the damages caused by it is very difficult if not impossible in some cases.
 NICOSIA IS CAUTIOUS OVER THE DEPOSED KING KONSTANTINOS' VISITNicosia, 2 May 2000 (18:06 UTC+2)
The Cypriot government in an effort to avoid misinterpretations and misunderstandings deals with great caution with the deposed King Konstantinos' visit to Cyprus where he arrived to attend the International Yachting Federation conference under the authority of the federation's president.
Indicative of the stance adopted by the Cypriot government is the decision reached by the ministry of education and culture not to attend the federation's meeting today.
However, the stance of the Church of Cyprus was warmer. According to the BBC radio, Archbishop Chrisostomos will welcome himself the deposed monarch at the Monastery of Kikkos this afternoon.
In statements he made upon his arrival in Cyprus, the deposed King said that he is visiting Cyprus as a simple Greek citizen.
 CANADIAN COMMITTEE FOR THE RETURN OF THE PARTHENON MARBLESOntario, 2 May 2000 (17:15 UTC+2)
A committee for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece has been set up in Canada chaired by Senator Shirley Mahew, while the post of the committee secretary will be held by Manitoba state transportation minister Steven Ashton.
The committee will be made up of state deputies, while the duties of the coordinator will be undertaken by professor Kosmopoulos, director of the Manitoba University Greek Culture Center, who will be in Greece after May 7 to head archaeological excavations.
 GREEK AND TURKISH FMs MEET IN NEW YORKNew York, 2 May 2000 (10:33 UTC+2)
Greece's Foreign Minster George Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart Ismael Cem held an unscheduled meeting in New York yesterday, prior to being declared "Personalities of the Year" by the East-West Institute.
Earlier the same day, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Richard Holbrooke - the next Secretary of State if Al Gore is elected president - held a reception in honor of the two ministers, with whom he has often worked in the past in his capacity as presidential envoy on the Cyprus issue and in the Balkans.
Messrs. Papandreou and Cem will travel to Washington tomorrow, where they will meet with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at the State Department.
She is expected to congratulate Mr. Papandreou on his victory, but to encourage both to make the most of the "historic opportunity" and to take "courageous steps."
Mme. Albright is also expected to remind Mr. Cem of the usefulness of a positive gesture towards Greece in return for Greece's approval of Turkey's candidacy for EU membership in Helsinki.