|Wednesday, 22 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-06-25
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 DEFENSE MINISTER ADDRESSES S.E. YOUTH COUNCILThessaloniki, 25 June 2000 (17:04 UTC+2)
Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos hosted a dinner in Thessaloniki last night in honor of the members of the South Eastern European Youth Council (SEEYC).
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that "events such as this of the SEEYC actively illustrate that the youth are undertaking their own initiatives and are significantly promoting cooperation among the Balkan countries in order to facilitate the European Union convergence rate of the region's countries.
SEEYC announced the establishment of a charter which was subsequently sent to the Thesaloniki Court of the First Instance for approval. The court's assent, expected by July 4, will officially give SEEYC the legal foundation for its operation.
Currently housed at the Macedonia-Thrace Ministry in the northern port city of Thessaloniki, the two-month-old council includes members from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Romania and Turkey.
Since its establishment, the council has initiated procedures for contacting international youth organizations, the Council of Europe and the European Forum, while it has also created a Web site (www.seeyc.org) which is accessible by its subscribers.
During yesterday's meeting participant members presented the current situation in their home countries, and discussed their future plans. In the afternoon session of the executive committee, members assessed the "Youth" program of the General Secretariat of Youth which was presented by its representative, Babis Papaioannou.
The European program of the secretariat was launched 20 days ago, and will cover a seven-year range of actions that will include exchange programs, volunteer work for 6-12 months on a European level, and financial support of 5,000 euros for young people in the early stages of their careers.
 PRESIDENT OF HELLENIC REPUBLIC VISITS RUSSIAAthens, 25 June 2000 (16:47 UTC+2)
The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos embarked on a five-day visit to Russia today, at the invitation of his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
President Stephanopoulos, who is accompanied by Foreign Minister George Papandreou and national economy deputy minister Yannis Zafiropoulos, will hold talks with Mr. Putin on bilateral relations and international issues, including the situation in the Balkans and Greek foreign policy issues. Messrs. Putin and Stephanopoulos will sign an agreement for the avoidance of double taxation between the two countries.
Mr. Papandreou will also hold consultations with his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov, while Mr. Zafiropoulos will meet with the financial ministers of the Russian government.
The Greek President will also visit St. Petersburg and will be received by Patriarch Alexios II, while he will also meet with the mayors of Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The President will also meet with leading members of the Greek diaspora in Russia and will be declared honorary professor of Moscow's state university of Lomonosov.
He will return to Athens on June 29.
 US PRESIDENT IN INTERVIEW WITH GREEK PAPERAthens, 25 June 2000 (16:48 UTC+2)
Greece is the bastion of south-eastern Europe and a model for the new democracies of the Balkans, according to the President of the United States Bill Clinton, whose interview is published in today's edition of the Athens paper "To Vima tis Kyriakis".
Mr. Clinton urges Greece and Turkey to further their rapprochement and to proceed to negotiations over bilateral issues.
"Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Foreign Minister George Papandreou, along with (Turkish) Premier Bulent Ecevit and (Turkish) Foreign Minister Ismael Cem, have taken significant and courageous steps towards this progress. These include the agreements signed a few months ago by the two Foreign Ministers in an effort to strengthen state and business cooperation on matters such as trade, tourism, culture, environment and security. The initiatives so far show that Greece and Turkey can work systematically in order to create the foundation in dealing with sensitive bilateral issues," Mr. Clinton stated.
"Greece's support towards Turkey's candidacy for accession to the European Union and Turkey's efforts to promote the Cyprus talks are significant signs that Athens and Ankara wish to move forward.
"We still have a lot of work ahead of us, including a just, cohesive and final solution to the Cyprus issue. But we believe that the Greek and Turkish leaders can achieve progress," he added.
On the issue of terrorism, the US president noted that it is one of the greatest threats against peace and public security throughout the world.
"I know that the Greek people have suffered greatly from terrorism, since the majority of November 17's victims were Greek citizens.
"We Americans have also suffered from terrorism, both in our country and abroad. In the past 25 years, we have lost five staff members of our embassy in Greece from terrorism; and 30 of our staff members have been wounded in attacks. Many U.S. firms in Athens have been targeted in bomb attacks. The families of our murdered colleagues have a right to demand justice. I am convinced that the families of the Greek victims and the Greek people as well want justice.
"We all want to see the terrorists responsible for these killings to be brought to justice. Undoubtedly, in the 21st century, we can seek a world where ideas and discussions, not bombs and bullets, will be the weapons for resolving our differences," he added.
Stressing that the State Department has given its full support to the Greek government for locating the terrorists and bringing them to justice, Mr. Clinton said that too many innocent people have been killed and terrorism has lasted too long in Greece.
"I know that terrorism can be beaten with the Greek people's will and decisiveness," he said.
 SAE PRESIDENT AWARDED WITH LEADERSHIP 100Chigago, 25 June 2000 (16:39 UTC+2)
Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) President and President of the United Hellenic Congress (UHAC) Andrew Athens has been given the award of Archbishop Iakovos, Leadership 100.
The award was given at an official dinner in the framework of the recent annual conference for financial backing for the Leadership 100 in Washington. Leadership 100 supports specific aims of the Orthodox communities of the US and the entire world.
 ATHENS TO HOST CONFERENCE ON EUROAthens, 25 June 2000 (16:38 UTC+2)
An international conference on the transition from the drachma to the euro is to be held in Athens on July 3-4.
The conference is being held under the aegis of the Association for European Monetary Union and is sponsored by EFG Eurobank.
Among speakers at the event are National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and central bank governor Lucas Papademos.
 GREEK, TURKISH, BULGARIAN RADIO COOPERATIONThessaloniki, 25 June 2000 (16:36 UTC+2)
The Greek, Bulgarian and Turkish state radios, at a meeting held recently in the northern Greek prefecture of Evros, have signed a memorandum of cooperation for the promotion of peace, stability and good relations in the region.
Officially beginning on July 1, the initiative will start off with an exchange of news items over the Internet between the state radio stations of eastern Macedonia-Thrace, Plovdiv and Istanbul and each will introduce a "neighbors song" broadcast, playing one song from each of the other two parties a day.
The Greek side has also agreed to allow young reporters from each radio station to take part in the Arda Festival on July 26-30 in Evros.
 F.M., INTERIOR MINISTER AT WARSAW CONFERENCEAthens, 25 June 2000 (16:34 UTC+2)
Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Interior Minister Vasso Papandreou are presently in Warsaw where they will attend an international conference on democracy.
The conference, which will be attended by foreign ministers from about 100 countries, is organized by the United Nations with the contribution of seven countries (Poland, Chile, Czech Republic, India, Mali, Korea and the United States). The US will be represented by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
Following the conference, Mr. Papandreou will depart for Moscow where he will accompany President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos on an official visit to Russia.
 HOLY SYNOD CONVENES TOMORROW OVER IDsAthens, 25 June 2000 (16:33 UTC+2)
Archbishop of Athens and all of Greece Christodoulos is to chair a Holy Synod meeting tomorrow where the Church leaders will draw up new protest plans over the removal of religious affiliation from state-issued identity cards.
The Holy Synod will study plans to create a mass petition against government intentions to stop recording Greeks' religion on their state identity cards. The signature drive would involve all of Greece's Orthodox Church and is aimed at increasing pressure on the government, in the wake of Wednesday's Church rally in Athens.
Meanwhile the government is adamant over its decision, with Premier Costas Simitis having proclaimed that "it is not in the nature of Greeks to fear things that are new."
The Secretary of the governing PASOK party Costas Skandalides stated that the government is not opposed to meetings with the Church leadership.
 NAVY WEEK BEGINS TODAY IN ALEXANDROUPOLISAlexandroupolis, 25 June 2000 (16:16 UTC+2)
Navy Week is being celebrated as of today, with Alexandroupolis, northern Greece, being the focus of events.
The programmed events include the fleet sailing into various ports in the country, concerts at Lycabettus and Alexandroupolis and displays by frogmen and paratroopers.
On July 2, next Sunday, the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, will inspect, on board the frigate Elli, the fleet that will be deployed at the Trokadero at Paleo Faliro.
 US PRESIDENTIAL EMISSARY IN CYPRUS TOMORROWNicosia, 25 June 2000 (16:36 UTC+2)
United States Presidential Emissary for Cyprus Alfred Moses is to arrive in Cyprus tomorrow for a three-day visit during which he is to have contacts with the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides.
Mr. Moses is expected to make a statement to the press on arrival on Monday evening at Larnaca international airport, on the southern coast.
On Tuesday morning, the President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafcos Clerides will receive Mr. Moses who will also have a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus.
The visit comes only a week after UN Special Adviser for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto ended four days of meetings on the island in preparation of the July UN-sponsored peace talks and amid increasing speculation as to the duration and the content of these talks.
 GREEK POLICE DETACHMENT IN KOSOVO WITH UNMIKPrishtina, 25 June 2000 (16:32 UTC+2)
A Greek police detachment is presently in Prishtina where its members will serve with the United Nations-led international security force policing the NATO-occupied Yugoslav province of Kosovo.
The 20 officers will be under the orders of the Pristina-based United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).
Greece was one of the first countries that offered to participate in the force, which is currently 2,000-strong - a quarter of the number originally agreed on.
The UNMIK force largely consists of officers from Bangladesh, Pakistan and eastern European countries.
 GREECE HAS ITS DAY AT HANNOVERS EXPO 2000Hannover, 25 June 2000 (16:31 UTC+2)
Greece will be the honored country today, June 25, at Hannover's Expo 2000, the exposition fair that features the participation of 190 countries and international organizations.
The Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou will attend the celebrations at the fair's Greek pavilion, along with Development Minister Nikos Christodoulakis, alternate Foreign Minister Elizabeth Papazoi and undersecretary of City Planning and Environment Ilias Efthimiopoulos.
The Greek pavilion covers an expanse of 1,400 sq.m. and features presentations on ancient Greek technology, as well as tourism and the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. Its theme is "Man-Technology-Nature".