|Sunday, 26 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-05-19
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 CLINTON EXPRESSES OPTIMISM OVER CYPRUS ISSUEWashington, 19 May 2000 (11:10 UTC+2)
United States President Bill Clinton expressed his optimism over the resolution of the Cyprus issue, during yesterday's meeting with leading members of the Greek Diaspora at the White House.
President Clinton stressed that this is the first time during the course of his term that he sees the possibility of a resolution.
When urged by his guests to become more actively involved in the Cyprus issue, Mr. Clinton stated that his aim is to achieve substantial progress in the matter prior to his departure from office, albeit adding that Turkey's recent presidential elections could be a suspending factor.
Furthermore, the US President stated that everyone knows what the solution would be and added that what is being sought is the start of the process.
He reiterated the US position on the solution of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, although he also made it clear that the island would consist of two autonomous states.
Meanwhile, the Turkish side has informed the United States that it is preparing the submission of its positions on the Cyprus issue. The US response was that, if these positions are not approximate to the Greek ones, then it would be better that they are not tabled since they could hinder the talks.
 THE NATO EXERCISE "DYNAMIC MIX" STARTS TOMORROWThessaloniki, 19 May 2000 (17:18 UTC+2)
The NATO exercise "Dynamic Mix" starts tomorrow and will last until June 10. Already, most of the troops participating in the exercise, estimated to be 6.500 men, have been deployed in the prefectures of Thessaloniki, Imathia, Kavala and Pieria. Even the port of Kavala that initially was not included in the exercise will be used and already NATO forces have arrived there.
In addition it was decided that apart from the military airport of Thessaloniki the airport of Chrisoupolis in Kavala will also be used in the exercise.
The goal of the exercise, in which will take part a total of 15.000 men, 65 warships and 290 aircraft, is the cooperation in humanitarian rescue missions in the Mediterranean.
 THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH VISITED ALEXANDROUPOLISAlexandroupolis, 19 May 2000 (17:29 UTC+2)
The people of Alexandroupolis in northern Greece welcomed Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos with honors reserved for heads of state. Earlier, the Patriarch was welcomed by 15 Metropolites at the border outpost of Kipi in Evros.
The head of the Orthodox Church is on a three-day visit to Alexandroupolis at the invitation of the Holy Metropolis of Alexandroupolis and the Greek Police Officers' Association while he will formally open the proceedings of the 16th Conference of the International Association of Police Officers.
This morning he officiated at the patriarchal Holy Liturgy in the Agios Nikolaos Church and addressing the faithful wished them health and longevity.
 GAINS OF 1.30% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 19 May 2000 (17:18 UTC+2)
The Athens Stock Exchange recorded gains of 1.30% today, while the general index was at 4.802,61 points.
The volume of transactions was very impressive reaching 371 billion drachmas.
 OECD: FULL LIBERALIZATION OF THE GREEK COASTAL SHIPPINGThessaloniki, 19 May 2000 (17:18 UTC+2)
The Organization for the Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD, suggested the full liberalization of the Greek coastal shipping in a recent report. Furthermore, it suggested subsidies for the so-called non profitable shipping lines, connecting islands that are not preferred by the tourists, by charging a special fee on all ferry tickets.
Among the proposals included in the report is the essential representation of the islands' social institutions in the merchant marine ministry decision making procedures.
It is also stressed that the liberalization of the Greek coastal shipping will open the way for ticket price cuts and the use of modern ships like in the case of the shipping lines in the Adriatic Sea.
 MANY GREEKS WILL NOT TRAVEL THIS YEARAthens, 19 May 2000 (17:12 UTC+2)
According to facts that were presented today by the Consumers' Institute, 38% of the Greeks are not planning to travel this year and the same goes for 30% of the Europeans, while at the same time, the vacation period becomes smaller and the main cause for this is the high vacation cost. Specifically, a 15day vacation for a four-member family it is estimated to cost an average of 700.000 drachmas.
The Consumer's Institute also announced that 66 reception centers and two mobile information units will be in operation this summer to give information among others on the traveler's rights charter.
 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE PARTHENON MARBLES IN ATHENSAthens, 19 May 2000 (17:07 UTC+2)
An international conference on the Parthenon Marbles will be held in Athens on May 22-24 under the auspices of the ministries of culture and press and the Greek committee of UNESCO.
The conference will be attended by distinguished scientists and researchers from 16 countries that have dealt with the issue of the return of the Parthenon Marbles among them "Melina Mercouri" Institute chairman Jules Dassen.
The goal of the conference is the complete presentation of the historic, cultural and legal framework of the issue.
 TURKISH AIRCRAFT LANDED AT NEA ANCHIALOSVolos, 19 May 2000 (17:07 UTC+2)
Three Turkish military transport planes, which will take part in the NATO exercise "Dynamic Mix" that starts tomorrow, landed at the Air Force Base of Nea Anchialos, in Volos central Greece after submitting a flight plan.
A total of 12 Turkish F16 fighter jets arrived at the Air Base this afternoon.
 GREEKS LIVE THE LONGEST AMONG ALL EUROPEANSAthens, 19 May 2000 (13:55 UTC+2)
Those Greeks who have passed the 65th year of age are more likely to live longer into their eighties than the other Europeans, according to an EU annual statistical study.
Specifically, the study shows that Greek men over the age of 65 are expected to live 81.5 years on an average; the same average for other European men of the same age group is 80.6 years.
Greek women fare even better then the men, as their life expectancy past the age of 65 is 83.9 years, although French women hold the record in life expectancy within the EU, with 85.7 years on average.
 ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH IN ALEXANDROUPOLISÁlexandroupolis, 19 May 2000 (13:20 UTC+2)
Ecumenical patriarch Vartholomeos is presently paying a two-day visit to Alexandroupolis, where he will inaugurate the conference of the International Association of Policemen.
On Sunday, Patriarch Vartholomeos will inaugurate the Ecclesiastic Museum of Alexandroupolis Cathedral.
 AIR FORCE TRAINING, SAFETY PRACTICES UP FOR REVIEWAthens, 19 May 2000 (13:19 UTC+2)
Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos has called for a review of air force safety and training practices, after a military aircraft crashed into a house in Antikira yessterday, killing both pilots and two young women in the building.
Five airmen have been killed in flying accidents this year; a few hours prior to yesterday's horrendous accident, a 26-year-old pilot, First Lieutenant Dimitris Agiasofitis, died of burns suffered when his aircraft crashed during take off in on Tuesday.
"Today is a black day for the air force, the armed forces and the entire Greek people," Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated in a press conference.
"There will be an in-depth inquest into the causes of these accidents," he stressed, adding "this will review current procedures on flight safety rules, as well as the terms of our training programs so that we can be absolutely certain that the armed forces personnel who labor daily to carry out their duty do so under the best possible conditions."
 GREEK CULTURE CELEBRATIONS HELD IN BUCHARESTBucharest, 19 May 2000 (13:55 UTC+2)
Celebrations in honor of the 10-year anniversary since the founding of the Greeks in Romania Association, are to conclude in Bucharest tomorrow.
The ten-day events, ,here inaugurated by Greece's Ambassador to Romania Stylianos Malliakouris, and a score of Romanian officials.
The events also included a symposium on "The Greek language - the Language of International culture" and a presentation of George Seferis' collected poems translated by Aurel Rau.
 CYPRUS PROXIMITY TALKS TO RESUME ON JULY 5Nicosia, 19 May 2000 (11:27 UTC+2)
A new round of proximity talks on Cyprus between Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash will begin in Geneva on July 5, according to an announcement by the Spokesman for the UN Secretary- General Mr. Fred Eckhart.
The talks will be opened by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, while the UN announcement made no reference as to the duration of the talks.
In the statement, read by Mr. Eckhart, the UN Secretary General says he is pleased to announce "that the proximity talks on Cyprus between H.E. Mr. Clerides and H.E. Mr. Denktash will resume in Geneva on 5 July."
 C of E MINISTERS COMMITTEE TO REVIEW LOIZIDOU CASEBrussels, 19 May 2000 (11:36 UTC+2)
The execution of a European Court judgment passed on a case of human rights violation in Cyprus by Turkey will be brought up for discussion again in early June, the Committee of Ministers of the Council has decided.
Cyprus' Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe Christoforos Yiangou stressed that Turkey's continuous refusal to comply with the Court's decision and to implement the European Court of Human Rights judgment on the Loizidou case jeopardizes stake the whole system for the protection of Human Rights within the Council of Europe as well as the credibility of the organization.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem sent a letter to the Chairman in Office of the Committee, Irish Foreign Minister Mr. Brian Cowen, wherein the former claimed that the matter is a political one and the issue of property should be dealt with through a UN process of exchange of property between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots and the payment of compensation.
 PSEKA, SAE CYPRUS CONFERENCE IN WASHINGTON ENDSWashington, 19 May 2000 (12:38 UTC+2)
Two hundred Greek and Cypriot delegates called on the United States to keep its promise on the Cyprus issue, during the 11th annual Cyprus conference organized by the World Coordinating Committee - Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA) and the Council of Greeks Abroad (SAE) in the U.S. capital.
The US State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus Tom Weston represented the U.S. administration and reassured Greek- and Cypriot-Americans of the U.S. government's willingness to continue its efforts to find a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.
Mr. Weston was addressing an audience of Greek and Cypriot lobbyists at a luncheon given by the Cypriot Ambassador to Washington, Erato Markouli, during the Cyprus conference.
Ms. Markouli noted the importance of the Helsinki decision by the European Union to grant Turkey the status of a candidate country, which, she said, aided in further improving Greek-Turkish ties and promoting a solution to the Cyprus problem.
In a message read during the opening session of the conference, Greece's deputy Foreign Minister Angeliki Laiou stated that "the situation which was created by the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 continues to pose a threat to security and stability to the sensitive area of the eastern Mediterranean."
She further referred to the inability of the international community (UN, U.S., EU) to achieve a comprehensive and viable solution for the Cyprus issue, and she expressed the belief that Cyprus's EU accession should proceed independently of any future solution.
Ms. Laiou stressed that in addition to Cyprus's accession , there should be substantive talks based on UN Security Council resolutions and taking into account the proclamation by the G8 countries.
She also expressed her hope that the United States would use its influence with Turkey so that Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash will be less reluctant to explore alternative views when discussing the four elements of the problem (territory, constitution, security and return of property to refugees).
Also addressing the conference, Congressman John Menenendez (D-New Jersey) warned that the present euphoric climate, propelled by the recent contacts between the Greek and Turkish foreign ministers (George Papandreou and Ismael Cem, respectively) could lead some members of congress to inaction.
"Many of my colleagues in Congress simply believe that the Cyprus issue will be resolved through the development of Greek-Turkish relations," he said and urged the Greek and Cypriot diaspora to present a clear picture of the situation to all the congress members with whom they will meet.
He characteristically stated that the present period is one of "vast opportunity and great risk."
 US CONGRESSMEN ADDRESS PSEKA CONFERENCEWashington, 19 May 2000 (11:27 UTC+2)
US Congressmen have fully backed UN-led efforts for a just and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem, describing the present status quo on the island as unacceptable and expressing the view that improved Greek-Turkish relations create an atmosphere of optimism in regards to Cyprus as well.
Speaking at the 11th annual International Coordinating Committee - Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA) and the Council of Greeks Abroad (SAE) Conference in Washington, Congressman Benjamin Gilman pointed to Turkey's obligations as a candidate for accession to the European Union.
The Executive Board of SAE also participated in the annual conference, which was addressed by SAE World President Andrew A. Athens.
The Cyprus Conference took place between May 16 -18 and is being followed by a special, two-day meeting of SAE's executive board which consists of 11 elected officials who reside in the Americas, Europe, Africa/Asia and Oceania.
"This is a very crucial period in the discussions on Cyprus and tit is very important for SAE to show the international concern as expressed by the worldwide constituency that SAE represents," Mr. Athens stated.
During the conference, participants met with members of the U.S. Congress and Senate and also with highly placed officials of the executive branch of the US government.