|Sunday, 19 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-06-02
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 PM AT "PROGRESSIVE GOVERNING IN 21ST CENTURY"Berlin, 2 June 2000 (10:40 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Costas Simitis is presently in Berlin, participating in the two-day, international conference titled Progressive Governing in the 21st Century which gets underway today.
United States President Bill Clinton, European center-left leaders and representatives of Latin American countries are also taking part in the conference, while eight of the European Union's 15 member-states will be represented, along with Brazil, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, New Zealand and Israel.
The conference constitutes the first time that the central-left forces and the social democrats are searching for a cohesive strategy in the new era's problems.
As the Premier has stressed, this is the first time in Greece's modern history that the country has a role in activities that can shape the beginning of a change in the world's political character.
He has also stated that the conference "has to give essence to the future, discuss ways with other progressive leaders to avail the future to all, with equal opportunities, without exceptions," adding that "the conference will grant the 15 world leaders with the opportunity to search for answers for a progressive government, stemming from the common values that bind us, such as liberty, democracy, social justice, respect for human dignity, as well as solidarity and mutual responsibility."
The conference features the participation of those socialist leaders in the EU who are presently in office.
Aside from Mr. Simitis, other European leaders attending the event are the premiers of Britain, France, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands and Sweden.
 ENERGY COMMISSIONER LAUDS GREEK ECONOMYS RISEAthens, 2 June 2000 (10:19 UTC+2)
Energy ministers from Mediterranean, Balkan and Black Sea countries are presently in Athens, attending a two-day conference titled The Effects of Energy Programs in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.
European Union Commissioner Loyola de Palacio, one of the conference's keynote speakers, lauded Greece for its economic policy, expressing her confidence over the country's accession to the Economic and Monetary Union.
Greece's Development Minister Nikos Christodoulakis is also a keynote speaker in the conference, which is organized by the European Commission and the Greek Ministry of Development.
The agenda includes issues on cooperation regarding energy, environment, petrol transport, natural gas transport, safe transport and financing of relevant projects.
 THE MINISTER OF MACEDONIA-THRACE MET WITH THE BULGARIAN UNDERSECRETARY OF NATIONAL ECONOMYThessaloniki, 2 June 2000 (18:57 UTC+2)
Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis met in Thessaloniki today with Bulgarian undersecretary of national economy Christo Mihailovski.
Mr. Paschalidis described the meeting as useful and said that they discussed issues concerning bilateral cooperation. He said that the Greek government backs the plan for the reconstruction of the Balkans that includes the economic development of all the Balkan states, the strengthening of democratic institutions, the regional cooperation and the gradual accession of those countries into the European Union.
From his side, the Bulgarian undersecretary of national economy stated that they discussed bilateral relations and cooperation, as well as the economic results of this cooperation. He said that the trade transactions showed an impressive improvement in the first trimester of the current year and added that the two sides want to cooperate in the infrastructure projects sector. He also stated that he fully backs the statement made by Mr. Paschalidis namely, that the two countries share a common goal, a common vision namely, peace, democracy and cooperation in the region.
 THE GREEK PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT MET WITH THE EU COMMISSION VICE CHAIRWOMANAthens, 2 June 2000 (17:08 UTC+2)
The relations of the state parliaments with the Euro-parliament were at the center of the talks between Greek parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis and European Commission vice-chairwoman Loyola De Palacio who met in Athens today.
Mr. Kaklamanis stressed that the vision of the people of Europe and their expectations for a social and not just an economic European Union presuppose the strengthening of the representative institutions and their cooperation.
Ms. De Palacio agreed with Mr. Kaklamanis' views, adding that the Greek parliament does not create tensions with the European Parliament and is always guided by a spirit of cooperation.
 MARGINAL GAINS OF 0.02% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 2 June 2000 (17:08 UTC+2)
Marginal gains of 0.02% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange and the general index was at 4.534,83 points, while the volume of transactions was at 138 billion drachmas.
Market circles have stated that the skepticism in the Athens Stock Exchange intensified with the collapse of the negotiations for the sale of 20% of Olympic Airways to British Airways. According to market analysts, skepticism was created because there were obstacles to the first privatization attempt made after the April 9 parliamentary elections.
 THE GREEK GOVERNMENT NEGOTIATIONS WITH BRITISH AIRWAYS ON THE STATE AIRLINE HAVE COLLAPSEDAthens, 2 June 2000 (16:29 UTC+2)
The meeting of minister of national economy Yiannos Papantoniou and minister of transportation Christos Verelis with British Airways representatives collapsed as they did not table a bid for the buyout of an Olympic Airways share package.
Mr. Papantoniou has already announced an international tender for the sale of the company's 20% share and the simultaneous taking over of its management. He also clarified that the government's adviser on the tender will be made known next week and expressed the wish that the new international investor will take over before the end of the year.
Minister of transportation Christos Verelis will meet tomorrow with British managing director of Olympic Airways Mr. Rod Lynch in order to end the cooperation and finalize the timetable for the withdrawal of Speedwing from the management of the Greek airline. Referring to this fact Mr. Verelis spoke of an "amicable divorce".
Mr. Verelis stated that the goal for Olympic Airways is part of it to trade in the Athens Stock Exchange. He stated that interest has already been expressed by foreign banks and Greek investors but the basic goal is to place the airline in an international partnership in order to survive in the international competition. Mr. Verelis stated that EU guarantees on Olympic Airways have not been exhausted yet and this means that the company can borrow up to 50 billion drachmas.
 THE ND HONORARY PRESIDENT FAVORS THE CONSTRUCTION OF A MOSQUEAthens, 2 June 2000 (16:17 UTC+2)
Main opposition party of New Democracy honorary president Konstantinos Mitsotakis is in favor of the construction of a mosque in Peania, Athens, stressing that it is unacceptable even to hold a discussion on whether its construction should proceed.
Mr. Mitsotakis referred to the religious needs of the Muslims living in Athens or in any other part of the country and underlined that the Greeks is a people with a large diaspora and they have built Christian Orthodox churches from Australia to America, to South Africa and Korea. He said that when New Democracy was in power a relevant demand that had been submitted then had been accepted immediately and an initiative had been undertaken to find the right building site. Mr. Mitsotakis concluded that to hold a discussion on something that is self-evident exposes the country.
 THE NATO EXERCISE "DYNAMIC MIX" IS IN PROGRESS IN KIPARISSIAThessaloniki, 2 June 2000 (16:16 UTC+2)
The NATO exercise "Dynamic Mix" is in progress, while the landing of marine forces from Greece, the United States, Turkey and Spain took place at noon today in the region of Kiparissia in the Peloponesse, southern Greece.
Problems occurred this morning during the landing of 2.500 marines in Kiparissia. A US landing craft participating in the exercise was unable to complete the landing because it run ashore near the Kiparissia coasts for an hour and could not reach the Turkish tank landing craft and bring the Turkish marines to the shore.
The landing was delayed for about 2 hours causing deep concern to the NATO chiefs of staff and a number of meetings were held to examine the problems, find solutions and complete the landing.
Undersecretary of defense Dimitris Apostolakis expressed the view that the exercise was a good idea because it gives the opportunity to the armed forces of Greece and Turkey to learn to cooperate with each other. He also added that taking under consideration the current political situation, Greece has made significant steps to limit the tension between the two countries.
The NATO exercise will be completed on June 5 in the region Askos-Profitis in Thessaloniki, with the participation of thousands of soldiers from Greece, the United States and Hungary. The land forces will have the backing of fighter planes and helicopters.
The final phase of the exercise will be watched by Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos, the Turkish general commander of the NATO headquarters in Ismir, Greece's military leadership and the ambassadors of the NATO member-states headed by US ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns.
 DEPLETED URANIUM BOMBS WERE USED BY NATO IN YUGOSLAVIAAthens, 2 June 2000 (16:01 UTC+2)
NATO secretary-general Lord Robertson has admitted in a letter addressed to United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan that the alliance used depleted uranium bombs in the air strikes against Yugoslavia last year.
The above are mentioned in a United Nations Environment Programme document that was published today by the Athens newspaper "Avgi". The UNEP is a UN organization responsible for environmental issues and after making autopsies on bombed areas in Yugoslavia it drew up a 104 pages report making detailed references to the bombardments, the targets hit and their effects on the population.
According to the text, NATO has confirmed to the UN that depleted uranium (DU) bombs were used during the war in Kosovo but the information provided did not include sufficient figures for the exact assessment of their effect on the environment and human health. According to the latest information on the DU bombs sent to the UN secretary-general by his NATO counterpart in a form of a letter accompanied by a map, they were used in over 100 missions conducted by A-10 aircraft that had dropped a total of 31.000 DU bombs. Most of those operations were centered at the region west of the Pecs-Dakovica-Prizren motorway, the region around the cities of Klina, Prizren and north of Suva Reka and Urosevac, while more DU bombs were dropped in other regions as well.
The UNEP mentions that in spite of the additional data there is still not enough information on where the biggest concentration of depleted uranium can be found in order to be able to reach objective and scientific conclusions on its effect on the environment and the people. It is also emphasized that the new information should not be a cause for wide-spread alarm.
 BRITISH C/TEE TO REVIEW PARTHENON MARBLES ISSUELondon, 2 June 2000 (14:02 UTC+2)
A Greek delegation led by Foreign Minister George Papandreou is to appear Monday before a British parliamentary committee which will review the issue of the Parthenon Sculptures' return to Greece.
The Committee, which will also examine various cases of stolen archaeological treasures, has received a report written by British journalist William Stewart which includes a series of proposals and suggestions in resolving the Parthenon Sculptures issue in a mutually-satisfactory manner.
The Greek delegation includes film director film director Jules Dassin, who was the husband of the late Melina Mercouri, and the Ministry of Culture's Secretary General Lina Mendoni.
 SAES MEDICAL RELIEF PROGRAM UP FOR AMA AWARDThessaloniki, 2 June 2000 (13:22 UTC+2)
The Medical Relief Program of the Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) is the candidate of a prestigious award to be granted by the American Medical Association (AMA), SAE's president Andrew Athens announced yesterday.
Along with SAE, the non-governmental and non-profit organization Counterpart International - which was commissioned by SAE for overseeing the program in the Newly Independent States of the Former Soviet Union - is also a candidate recipient of the Dr. Nathan Davis International Award for Medical Care and Public Health.
"We are especially satisfied over the fact that the Medical Relief program for the Greeks and their neighbors in the Black Sea countries, which has been inn operation for more than a year, has been recommended for an award by such a distinguished professional organization such as the AMA," Mr. Athens stated.
The Medical Relief Prgoram is a candidate for the " Outstanding World Initiative for Health" award, as it "increases the public's access to flexible programs of quality preventive care."
The Medical Relief Program is a $100 million, three-year project to establish medical clinics in the Independent States. Three such clinics have been opened and are operating in Tbilisi, Tsalka and Tsitsihisvari in the Republic of Georgia. Plans for a major clinic have been approved for Mariupole, in Ukraine and similar programs will be established in Southern Russia, Armenia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.
When completed, the SAE Primary Medical Care network will service 750,000 Greeks and a similar number of their neighbors.
 GREEK PRESIDENT WARMLY WELCOMED IN TORONTOToronto, 2 June 2000 (13:02 UTC+2)
The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos is to conclude today his seven-day visit to Canada with a stop at the Niagara Falls.
Yesterday, President Stephanopoulos was warmly welcomed by Toronto's Greek-Canadian community, the second largest after Montreal's.
 TURKEYS FORMER PM IN COURT ON CORRUPTION CASEAnkara, 2 June 2000 (13:37 UTC+2)
A Turkish parliamentary committee voted today to send the corruption case of Turkey's former prime minister Mesut Yilmaz to the supreme court, the French news agency AFP reported.
The committee voted nine to six to force Mr. Yilmaz and former trade and industry minister Yalim Erez to appear before the supreme court, but the move must be confirmed by an absolute majority of the full parliament later this month.
Messrs. Yilmaz and Erez are accused of abuse of power in connection with the 1998 transfer of a state-owned property near the northwestern city of Izmit to the country's most important private industrial group, Koc Holding.
In exchange, Koc Holding allegedly invested in US carmaker Ford's Turkish operations.
Mr. Yilmaz is the head of the center-right Motherland Party (ANAP), the third partner in the ruling coalition of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, along with Ecevit's center-left Democratic Left Party and the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Under Turkish law, any deputy convicted by the supreme court is permanently banned from political service.
 CLINTON: TURKEY MUST BE INCLUDED IN THE EUROPEAN CONTINENTAachen, 2 June 2000 (18:56 UTC+2)
US president Bill Clinton received the International Charlemagne Prize for his contribution to the unification of Europe.
In his speech delivered during the formal ceremony in Aachen, Germany he stated that there are two pieces of unfinished business. The first is to make southeast Europe part of the rest of Europe, stressing that this is the only way to make peace last in that bitterly divided region. He said that the goal is to de-Balkanize the Balkans and must help create a magnet that will bring people together, adding that this is what the Stability Pact that Germany helped to establish is designed to do, challenging the nations of southeast Europe to reform their economies and strengthen their democracies while more than $6 billion have been pledged to support their efforts.
He also stated that the West must remain unrelenting in its support for a democratic transition in Serbia, adding that there must be no future for Mr. Milosevic and his policy of ethnic hatred and ethnic cleansing.
Mr. Clinton stated that if south-eastern Europe is to be fully integrated into the continent Turkey also must be included. He said that he applauds the European Union decision to treat Turkey as a real candidate for membership and expressed the hope that Turkey and the European Union will make the next steps. The US president stated that this will be good for Turkey, good for southeast Europe, good for more rapid reconciliation between Greece and Turkey and the resolution of Cyprus and good for the entire world, which is still too divided over religious differences.
The second piece of unfinished business concerns Russia, said Mr. Clinton, stressing that an effort must be made to build a partnership with Russia that encourages stability, democracy, cooperative engagement with the West and full integration with global institutions, while he stated characteristically that this means that no doors can be sealed shut to Russia, not NATO's, not the EU's.
He said that America must continue to support Europe's most ambitious unification efforts and Europe as well should want to strengthen the alliance with America. Mr. Clinton said that we are actually connected more than ever as underwater cables allow us to send staggering amounts of e-mail and e-commerce to each other instantaneously, adding that one billion dollars in trade and investment goes back and forth every day, employing more than 14 million people on both sides of the Atlantic.
The US president stated that he expects that in a generation the EU will have as many as 30 members from the Baltics to the Balkans to Turkey and it will be a community of unprecedented cultural, political and economic diversity and vitality. He said that it will be a bigger Europe than Charlemagne ever dared dream, a reflection of our recognition that ultimately Europe is a unifying idea as much as a particular place.
 PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS' PRESS CONFERENCE IN BERLINBerlin, 2 June 2000 (16:52 UTC+2)
The stance that no international point of view can be formed but there can be an international exchange of views on globalization issues, was expressed by Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis in a press conference he gave in Berlin where he attends the conference on progressive government in the 21st century. The conference is attended by 14 center-left heads of states and governments.
Mr. Simitis pointed out that this is a period characterized by an exchange of views regarding the effects of globalization on unemployment issues and social justice in the new environment that is being formed.
Responding to the fears expressed by Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All of Greece, Greek prime minister stressed that in a period of a quest there must be new dynamics that could balance any grazing mentalities. The prime minister stated characteristically that this is not the end of ideologies but the end of dogmatism.
Responding to a question by MPA that concerned the views of Archbishop Christodoulos, who rejects globalization all together, the prime minister stated that globalization will not be blocked and this statement is not made in response to Archbishop Christodoulos. He said that the markets are expanding and the issue is to give to the united market that is being formed an easily controlled shape on the pattern of domestic markets.
Responding to another question by MPA, on whether he will meet with US president Clinton on the sidelines of the Berlin summit, Mr. Simitis said that he will meet with all the leaders attending the summit and there is always an opportunity for an exchange of views.
Mr. Simitis stated that the Berlin conference is placed within the framework of the efforts made by the governments and the political parties of the left and center-left to face the problems of globalization, the technological changes and the new international relations. Discussions within this framework have been made by the Socialist International as well, said Mr. Simitis, and an effort is being made for the adoption of a common point of view. He said that efforts continue and in the Berlin conference the leading role is played by German chancellor Gerhard Schreder, who called the conference after a cooperation with US president Bill Clinton, former Italian prime minister Massimo D'Alema and British prime minister Tony Blair.
Mr. Simitis said that Greece's role in the conference was secured by the economic progress it has made, its EU membership, its active role in south-eastern Europe and its good relations with all the participants. He said that the goal is to deal with the effects of globalization and its control, limit the negative phenomena and create positive prospects.
He also characterized the international economic groups, the genetically altered food and bio-technology as huge problems and stressed that ways must be found to deal with them.