|Friday, 17 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-05-18
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 ARAFAT MEETS WITH GREEK PRESIDENT IN BETHLEHEMBethlehem, 18 May 2000 (11:43 UTC+2)
The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos met with the leader of Palestine Yasser Arafat in Bethlehem yesterday, prior to ending his official visit to Israel.
Following a formal dinner held in honor of his guest, Mr. Arafat thanked the Greek President for "his significant visit on behalf of the friendly Greek people, with whom the Palestinians are linked both historically and politically."
Moreover, Mr. Arafat referred to the Greek President January 2000 visit to Bethlehem, and added that the Palestinians do not forget the assistance granted by Greece in all sectors, either directly, or through the European Union."
 MILITARY AIRCRAFT CRASHES ON TOP OF A HOUSEThessaloniki, 18 May 2000 (12:44 UTC+2)
An F-4 military aircraft crashed on top of a house in Antikira, Viotia, during training maneuvers this afternoon, killing both the pilot and co-pilot, while one young woman, out of three persons who were inside the home at the time, escaped unharmed.
According to unverified reports, two more girls are believed to be trapped inside the burning, two-storey house. Fire brigades have rushed to the scene, and are presently searching for survivors.
The aircraft had taken off at 10:45 this morning from the Andravida air force base and was conducting maneuvers with another F-4. Eyewitnesses have reported that the aircraft was flying at a very low altitude prior to crashing.
Today's accident occurred a few kilometers away from the site where another F-4 crashed last January, killing both pilots.
 THE GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN ON THE CONFIDENCE-BUILDING-MEASURES IN THE AEGEANAthens, 18 May 2000 (18:05 UTC+2)
The issue of the confidence-building-measures in the Aegean is discussed by Greece and Turkey within the framework of NATO, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas when asked to comment on whether a political-military committee has been set up in Athens to deal with the issue.
The Greek government spokesman also stressed that he is not aware if a similar committee has been set up in Ankara and that the issue is being discussed within the framework of NATO.
Mr. Reppas stated that the Greek side has decided the cooperation of the ministries of foreign affairs and defense which have already formed a joint committee that will deal with issues that are not included in the list of issues under discussion within the framework of NATO.
 THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN ON THE AIR FORCE JET CRASHAthens, 18 May 2000 (17:37 UTC+2)
The government's grief for the air tragedy involving a Greek Air Force jet that resulted to the deaths of four people, two pilots and two young girls on the ground, was expressed by government spokesman Dimitris Reppas.
When asked by reporters on the causes of the crash Mr. Reppas stated that it would be immature, thoughtless and a blasphemy to speak about it at this point.
Regarding the maintenance of the aircraft, Mr. Reppas stated that the Air Force fleet is reliable, adding that the aircraft undergo maintenance regularly and are at a high level of operation. He also praised the efforts of the pilots who take the aircraft to their limits and sometimes put their own lives at risk.
 GREECE CONDEMNS YESTERDAY'S EVENTS IN SERBIAAthens, 18 May 2000 (17:08 UTC+2)
The Greek foreign ministry condemned yesterday's events in Serbia and the obstruction of the operation of the pro-opposition television station "Studio B" in Belgrade.
Greek foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis stated that such anti-democratic actions by the Belgrade regime underline the serious lack of democracy in Serbia.
He said that Greece is in favor of the democratic developments in Serbia, the freedom of expression and the dissemination of ideas.
 THE "YES" IN THE EUROPARLIAMENT BROUGHT GAINS TO THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 18 May 2000 (17:08 UTC+2)
Gains of 0.79% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today with the general index at 4.740,79 points, while the volume of transactions reached 253 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today 308 recorded gains and 30 had losses.
 PAPANDREOU-BURNS MEETINGAthens, 18 May 2000 (16:55 UTC+2)
Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou met in Athens today with US ambassador Nicholas Burns.
According to diplomatic sources, the topic of discussion was the preparation of Mr. Papandreou's meeting with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright scheduled to be held on the sidelines of the NATO ministers' council meeting in Florence, Italy on May 23-24.
The two foreign ministers had agreed in New York to meet again to discuss the developments in the Balkans.
Mr. Papandreou and Mr. Burns also discussed the course of bilateral relations while, according to the same sources, a special reference was made to the bilateral agreement that is still pending and concerns the police cooperation between the two countries.
The Greek foreign minister reiterated to the US ambassador that the Greek government is firm to it position namely, that the signing of the agreement will be made at the appropriate level and by both sides.
 PAPANDREOU WILL DELIVER A SPEECH IN LONDON ON THE PARTHENON MARBLESAthens, 18 May 2000 (16:55 UTC+2)
Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou will be in London on June 5 invited by the British parliament special committee.
Mr. Papandreou will deliver a speech on culture and the mass media and he will answer to questions regarding the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.
 THE NEW PRIVATE CAR OF THE GREEK CAR INDUSTRY WILL BE READY NEXT YEARThessaloniki, 18 May 2000 (16:55 UTC+2)
The first small polymorphic car designed by the Greek Car Industry, which seeks to expand its activities to the manufacturing of products used by the civilian population, will be ready next year, stated in a press conference company chairman Likourgos Sakellaris.
It will be a three-door car and the company will be able to produce 400 such vehicles annually. It will be a convertible, with flexible interior and it will target the car rental market and the young consumers.
 THE BALKAN FOREIGN MINISTERS WILL MEET IN THESSALONIKI ON JUNE 10Thessaloniki, 18 May 2000 (16:55 UTC+2)
A Balkan foreign ministers' meeting will be held in Thessaloniki on June 7-10 within the framework of the Stability Pact and on the sidelines of the Balkan Conference.
Within the framework of the foreign ministers' summit there will be meetings of non governmental organizations from all the Balkan states, while an invitation will be issued to the Serb society of citizens.
 INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM DAY CELEBRATED TODAYThessaloniki, 18 May 2000 (14:07 UTC+2)
All Greek museums and archaeological sites will be open free of charge today, which has been declared International Museum Day.
This year's theme is "Museums for a harmonious and peaceful development of society".
Thessaloniki's "Archeological Museum Friends Assocaition" organized a free tour today, while the Greek Archaeologists Association in Athens will hold a round table discussion this evening.
Also, the Jewish Museum is holding organized tours, while the Museum of Greek Folklore Art is featuring an educational program for kids.
 TWO GIRLS BURN TO DEATH WHEN F4 CRASHES ON HOMEThessaloniki, 18 May 2000 (13:38 UTC+2)
Two girls burned to death when an F-4 military aircraft crashed on top of their house in Antikira, Viotia (southern Greece), this morning.
The aircraft crashed during training maneuvers, killing both the pilot and co-pilot, while one of the three young women inside the home at the time, escaped unharmed.
According to the information office of the General Air Force Staff, the names of the pilot and co-pilot are Constantinos Alexandrakis, 31, and Polykarpos Mouchtouris, 29. The two girls are Iro Papaharalampous, 16, and Irene Kollia, 21.
Flying at a 500-feet altitude, the ill-fated aircraft crashed at a speed of 800-kilometers per hour.
 THE EUROPARLIAMENT SAID "YES" TO GREECE'S COURSE TO THE EMUStrasbourg, 18 May 2000 (17:08 UTC+2)
Greece continues its course toward the Economic and Monetary Union, EMU, with the blessings of the European parliament as the positive report drawn up by Luxembourg's Euro-deputy Rober Gebels for Greece's accession into the Euro-zone was approved with a big majority.
By received the green light from the Euro-parliament, Greece covered the biggest part of its course toward the Euroland and now remains only the formal approval of the EMU accession in the June Summit meeting.
Mr. Gebels stated yesterday, speaking in the plenary session of the European parliament, that Greece does not need to beg anyone in order to participate in the single currency.
Even the German objections to Greece's accession had no negative effect as they were met with the reaction of responsible EU Commissioner Pedro Solbes, who reiterated that the Greek economy meets all the preconditions necessary to join the EMU.
He reminded that Greece has smaller debt compared to Italy and Belgium and lower inflation compared to Spain, Finland, Luxembourg, Belgium and Holland, expressing the certainty that Greece will be the twelfth Euro-zone member.
 SAE PRESIDENT AWARDED BY SERB ORTHODOX CHURCHWashington, 18 May 2000 (13:48 UTC+2)
The Serb Orthodox Church of the United States and Canada bestowed an award upon the President of the Council of Greeks Abroad (SAE) Andrew Athens, during the First Annual Conference of the Serb-American Leadership, held recently in Washington.
Serb Orthodox Metropolite Christoforos conveyed the "profound recognition of Mr. Athens' pioneering leadership during his diplomatic efforts to promote and defend Hellenism and Orthodoxy during his contacts with officials in the nation's capital and the world over."
 MELBOURNE, CRETE UNIVERSITIES TO COOPERATEMelbourne, 18 May 2000 (12:03 UTC+2)
A cooperation agreement has been reached between the University of Melbourne (RMIT) and the University of Crete, according to which the two campuses will be able to exchange staff, students and research programs.
Degrees awarded by either University will be recognized by one another, according to the agreement.
The agreement's announcement coincided with the occasion of the 59th anniversary of the Battle of Crete, where many Australians lost their lives.
The University of Melbourne also announced that the cooperation will be boosted morally and materially by the Pan-Cretan Union of Melbourne and Victoria.
RMIT signed a similar agreement with the University of Ioannina in 1992.