|Monday, 27 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-05-16
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 GREEK PRESIDENT CONTINUES VISIT TO ISRAELJerusalem, 16 May 2000 (13:25 UTC+2)
The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos is presently on a historic visit to Israel where he met with his Israeli counterpart Ezer Weizman in Jerusalem yesterday.
In receiving his Greek counterpart, President Weizman emphasized that Greece and Israel are "two democratic countries with similar economies," while he expressed the conviction that the visit would further strengthen bilateral relations.
On his part, President Stephanopoulos said his visit was the result of steadily improving relations between the two countries, while pointing out Athens' interest in the Middle East peace process and his hopes that this would yield positive results. The President also traveled to Tel Aviv, where he addressed a Greek-Israeli trade and economic forum.
The President will meet Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Bethlehem tomorrow.
Mr. Stephanopoulos is accompanied by Alternate Foreign Minister Elizabeth Papazoi, Deputy National Economy Minister Yiannis Zafiropoulos and a delegation of Greek businessmen.
 UNEMPLOYMENT SOARS IN GREECE DESPITE MEASURESThessaloniki, 16 May 2000 (12:21 UTC+2)
Greece's unemployment rate reached dramatic proportions last year, in spite of lowering tendencies throughout the remaining European countries.
According to statistical reports, over 552,000 Greeks were in search of employment during 1999, pushing the joblessness rate to 11.7 percent, whereas in 1998 the same rate was at 11.1%.
The Labor Ministry, which presented its national action plan yesterday, pledged that 75,000 new job positions will be found this year and vowed to reform the state's Labor Force Employment Organization (OAED).
Meanwhile, the chairman of the General Confederation of Greek Laborers (GSEE) stated that unemployment is not expected to eclipse in Greece and opined that, as a result, the phenomenon could lead to conservatism and racism.
 TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS ARE THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH FOR CHILDRENAthens, 16 May 2000 (18:56 UTC+2)
Traffic accidents are at the top of the children accidents' list as 50% of the deaths among children are caused by traffic accidents, according to a research published today on the Athens newspaper "TO VIMA".
According to the research, about 3.500 children under the age of 17 are injured each year in traffic accidents, while the injured aged between 18 and 20 are estimated to be 3.700 annually. Many of them suffer for the rest of their lives from permanent disabilities caused by those accidents.
Based on the research, of the 25 children who are killed in traffic accidents annually, 18 could have been saved if their seatbelts on in the special children's seats were fastened.
 REPPAS ON THE LOIZIDOU CASEAthens, 16 May 2000 (18:56 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas commenting on Ankara's refusal to pay compensation to a Greek-Cypriot woman, stated that Turkey must comply with the Human Rights Court decision on the Titina Loizidou case.
Ankara's refusal to pay compensation to the woman was expressed through Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem with a letter addressed to the Council of Europe.
 REPPAS: THE GOVERNMENT WILL RESPOND SOON TO THE PALESTINIAN DEMARCHEAthens, 16 May 2000 (18:14 UTC+2)
The Greek government will respond within the next few days to the Palestinian demarche regarding the schedule of president Kostis Stephanopoulos' visit to Israel, underlined today Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas.
Mr. Reppas stated that the president's schedule in Israel was decided after an agreement with the responsible authorities of the country. He said that Greece wants good relations with the Palestinians and added that a response will be issued to the demarche in the spirit of the friendly attitude of Greece toward the Palestinian people.
Meanwhile, deputy foreign minister Elisavet Papazoi speaking today with reporters after the meeting she had with Israeli foreign affairs undersecretary Nuar Masalha commented on the demarche made by the Palestinians, who reacted because there was no meeting scheduled with the representatives of the Palestinian authority in Jerusalem even though there was a meeting scheduled with Israeli mayor Ehud Olmert, stating that the Greek side was annoyed by the sharp nature of the demarche which does not correspond to the existing bilateral relations.
In spite all these the Greek deputy foreign minister expressed optimism that in tomorrow's meeting of president Stephanopoulos with Palestinian president Yasser Arafat in Bethlehem all misunderstandings will be lifted.
Ms. Papazoi also said that Greece wants balanced relations with all the countries in the Mediterranean.
 THE YOUNG GREEK HELD AS HOSTAGE BY THE CHECHENS WILL COME TO GREECE FOR SURGERYThessaloniki, 16 May 2000 (18:01 UTC+2)
A Greek doctor in Athens, who wants to remain anonymous, has offered to perform plastic surgery on Giorgos Askalov, the 9yearold Greek boy who was held as hostage for 6 months by the Chechens. The Chechen armed men, who had abducted him, were requesting ransom to free him and allow him to return to his home and in order to intimidate his father had cut off his ear.
The boy was informed of the Greek doctor's offer through the phone and his first reaction was to ask if he will be able to wear glasses again.
The story that concerned the only Greek family in Russia with three of its members to experience the nightmare of captivity in the hands of the Chechens came to light by Macedonian Press Agency.
Speaking about the conditions of his captivity, the boy said that when he refused to answer to his captors who were calling him using a Islamic name, they were beating him on the head with their hands or anything they could find. He also said that when he was asked to read the Koran and he told them that he was a Christian they again started beating him and when he asked them if the Koran writes that it is not bad to abduct, hit and torture children they gave him no response and forbid him to speak or make questions.
He was allowed to say only three words namely, sleep, food and bathroom. The Chechens were afraid that he would escape when they were under the influence of drugs and he was given food only once a day and sometimes they forgot all about him. He was forced to watch bloody scenes of executions of Russians and his abductors were telling him that it was for his own good in order to be fearless of death. He also said that he was allowed to take a bath only once in the six months he was in captivity when his abductors got the money they had demanded in order to free him and were preparing him to return to his father.
 GAINS OF 0.49% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 16 May 2000 (17:42 UTC+2)
The Athens Stock Exchange recorded gains of 0.49% today and the general index closed at 4.709,82 points. Investors and analysts believe that the gains recorded show that there is dynamism in the stock market and predict positive developments in the next sessions.
Very satisfactory was the volume of transactions that was over 207 billion drachmas.
 THE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH WILL APPEAL TO THE COUNCIL OF STATE ON THE ID ISSUEAthens, 16 May 2000 (17:37 UTC+2)
Metropolite Theoklitos of Thessaliotida stated in an interview with the Athens radio station "Flash" that the Greek Orthodox Church will appeal to the Council of State on the issue of the identity cards and the information they should include expressing the belief that the Church will win the case.
Metropolite Theoklitos stated that Authority for the Protection of Personal Data president professor Konstantinos Dafermos has no jurisdiction to decide on the constitutionality of the specific law.
Meanwhile, governing socialist party of PASOK parliament deputy Evangelos Venizelos stated after the meeting he had with Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All of Greece that the government and the parliament must decide on whether religion must be written on the identity cards.
 THE CHAMBER OF KAVALA WILL OPEN OFFICES IN ISTANBULThessaloniki, 16 May 2000 (17:30 UTC+2)
The Chamber of of the north-eastern city of Kavala will open offices in Istanbul that will be housed in a building provided by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce in the Eminonu region.
According to statements made to Macedonian Press Agency by Istanbul Chamber of Commerce president Mehmet Gildirim, the space that will be offered to house the Chamber of Kavala is made up of two halls and is located in the building that houses the trade delegations of Russia and Cuba.
A 20member Turkish business delegation visited yesterday the Chamber of Kavala and today they visited Thessaloniki's Commerce and Industry Chamber. Later today, they met with the Black Sea Bank president Ersoi Volkan who briefed them on the operations of the bank.
Mr. Gildirim stated that the offices of the Chamber of Kavala will contribute to the development of trade relations and will offer assistance not only to the Greek businessmen but to the Greek tourists visiting Turkey as well.
 A7 CORSAIR CRASHES AT TAKE-OFF, PILOT INJUREDThessaloniki, 16 May 2000 (13:18 UTC+2)
An A7 Corsair aircraft crashed immediately after taking off from Crete's Souda military base this afternoon. The pilot, who suffered massive burns, has been transported to the base's naval hospital.
No further details have been released over his health condition.
 ECONOMIC FORUM TO BE HELD IN BUCHARESTThessaloniki, 16 May 2000 (11:27 UTC+2)
The Balkan and Black Sea Business Center is holding an economic forum in Bucharest, between May 16-18.
The event is jointly organized by the Northern Greece Exporters Association, the Commerce and Industry Chamber of Thessaloniki, the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce, Bucharest's Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Romania's Exporters-Importers Association and the Association of Greek Businessmen.
The forum will offer information on investment opportunities presented in Romania.
 TURKEY: THE MEMORANDUM FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT IS IN EFFECTAnkara, 16 May 2000 (17:47 UTC+2)
A memorandum of understanding for the protection of the environment was put into effect after its publication on the Turkish Government Newspaper.
The agreement which aims at the improvement of the quality of life in both countries was signed on January 10, 2000 and provides for the technical cooperation between Greece and Turkey aimed at the protection of the environment.
Based on the contents of the agreement, the cooperation of the two countries should not be limited at a government level but it must expand to non governmental organizations, academic institutions and private companies.
 GREEK BUSINESS DELEGATION IS ON A VISIT TO BUCHARESTBucharest, 16 May 2000 (17:33 UTC+2)
The representatives of 18 Greek businesses arrived in Bucharest today within the framework of a business mission organized in the Romanian capital by the Inter-Balkan and Black Sea Business Center in cooperation with Association of Greek Industries in northern Greece and the US-Hellenic Chamber.
In the two-day mission, the Greek businessmen will have contacts with those in charge of the Romanian customs authorities and with senior officials in the industry and commerce ministry, the State Property Organization (FPS) and the Romanian Organization of Development (ARD).
Also, they will meet with representatives of Greek banks active in the country, while the circle of contacts will be completed with talks between Greek and Romanian businesses aimed at bilateral cooperation.
 HILLARY CLINTON PRESENTS AWARD TO ARCHBISHOPNew York, 16 May 2000 (12:53 UTC+2)
HILLARY CLINTON PRESENTS AWARD TO ARCHBISHOP
The First Lady of the United States Hillary Clinton, who is also a candidate for the U.S. Senate, attended the gala dinner at the Hermes Expo International last night, where she personally presented an award to former Greek Orthodox Archbishop of North and South America, Iakovos in honor of his role in shaping the destiny of the Greek Orthodox Church in the Americas.
The event was held under the auspices of the Hellenic American National Council's Outreach Committee and its proceeds will be distributed equally between the Sloan Kettering Memorial Center's Breast Cancer Research center and the Cretan Brotherhood Fund, which aids cancer-stricken children of Hellenic heritage currently being treated in area hospitals.
 HERMES EXPO 2000 CONTINUES WITH GROWTH, SERVICENew York, 16 May 2000 (12:53 UTC+2)
The Hermes Expo '2000, a trade show now in its eighth consecutive year, has attracted more than 200 exhibitors, many of whom traveled from Greece, Cyprus and Eastern European countries to display their products and services, while numerous US manufacturers are also exhibiting their products.
Presently being held at New York's Jacob Javits Center, the exhibition also features simultaneous presentations of current films from Greece's entertainment industry, wellness seminars and other similar events.
A blessing ceremony was officiated by the Archbishop of America Dimitrios.
 ARCHBISHOP DIMITRIOS VISITS MPAS PAVILION AT HERMES EXPONew York, 16 May 2000 (11:31 UTC+2)
"The Macedonian Press Agency constitutes a very significant national and cultural project", according to the Archbishop of America Dimitrios who visited the MPA's pavilion at the Eighth Hermes Expo, presently underway in New York.
His Eminence also congratulated the MPA for its work, stating that it promotes Greece and disseminates information that are related to the outstanding activities of the Greek community abroad, especially in the United States.
"As such, the Macedonian Press Agency constitutes a very significant national and cultural project, over which we sincerely thank and congratulate you," he said.