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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-06-27
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 GREEK PRESIDENT MEETS WITH RUSSIAN COUNTERPARTMoscow, 27 June 2000 (11:07 UTC+2)
The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, presently on a five-day visit to Russia, met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin yesterday, with whom he held talks covering the whole spectrum of bilateral relations and international issues.
Addressing a press conference following the talks, Mr. Putin expressed his support for the solution of all problems in the Mediterranean on the basis of international law, and welcomed Greece's proposal for the examination of all arising issues by international judicial bodies.
Specifically, he stated that any resolution whatsoever in the Balkans should be based on the UN Security Council's resolution 1244. Namely, the Russian President called for the removal of troops from Kosovo and the isolation of UCK.
He characterized Greece's views on Balkan issues as particularly significant and expressed support for a solution of the Cyprus issue on the basis of UN resolutions.
Mr. Stephanopoulos stated that Greece and Russia backed efforts to maintain stability and develop cooperation in southeastern Europe as part of a stability pact for the region. He also stated that there are positive prospects for expanding economic ties between the two countries.
Messrs. Stephanopoulos and Putin, who signed an agreement for the avoidance of double taxation between the two countries, also examined the potential for further cooperation in the sectors of energy, military and technical cooperation, natural gas and the construction of electrical power plants in Greece.
The Greek President will meet with Russia's Prime Minister Mikhail Kasianov, other political leaders, Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, and the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexios II.
Additionally, he will address a Greek-Russian business forum in the Russian capital and inaugurate an art exhibition at the famed Pushkin Museum, entitled "The Greek World in Russian Art", before travelling to 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 AMBASSADOR IN KASTORIA: I FEEL SAFE IN GREECEKastoria, 27 June 2000 (11:28 UTC+2)
US Ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns, who conducted a visit to the city of Kastoria yesterday, referred to the issue of terrorism, stating that it is a serious problem in Greece, albeit adding that a tantamount one exists in the United States as well.
Stressing that the phenomenon can be eradicated through the cooperation of Greek and US authorities, Mr. Burns added that he personally feels safe in Greece. He further stated that he has always had friendly sentiments towards his host country, although he pointed out that he can never forget that there have been Americans who fell victim to terrorist attacks in Greece.
The US diplomat met with the Prefect of Kastoria George Kapaktsis and Mayor Dimitris Papoulides, as well as with local furriers.
Among the issues discussed were the fur sector (this being the region's main industry) and the establishment of a free trade zone at the Greek-Albanian border.
This was the first time Mr. Burns visited Kastoria, a city with a 3,000-strong expatriate community in the United States.
In protest to Mr. Burns' visit to Kastoria, the Communist Party of Greece marched in front of City Hall and shouted anti-American slogans. No episodes erupted as the local police had taken strict security measures.
 US PRESIDENTIAL EMISSARY MOSES IN CYPRUSNicosia, 27 June 2000 (11:29 UTC+2)
United States Presidential Emissary for Cyprus Alfred Moses, presently in Cyprus for contacts with the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides, is to be received by the President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafcos Clerides today.
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.
 BRITISH MD TO SWIM THE DISTANCE FOR SCULPTURESThessaloniki, 27 June 2000 (11:05 UTC+2)
British pathologist Christopher Stockdale will attempt a long-distance swim between two Aegean islands on Saturday, July 1, as part of a campaign for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Athens.
Dr. Stockdale, who has swum marathon distances for various causes in the past, will attempt to swim 26 nautical miles (35 kilometers) between the islands of Delos and Paros in a course of 15 hours.
"What I hope to achieve is to point out on the part of art the situation concerning the Marbles," Dr. Stockdale stated, adding "I think that the Acropolis and the Parthenon are the symbols of the start to western civilization."
According to the Melina Mercouri Foundation, which is organizing the swim, one of the event's objectives is to gather sponsorship funds for the construction of a new Acropolis Museum in Athens to house the Marbles.
 KARAMANLIS LAUNCHED A STRONG ATTACK AGAINST THE GOVERNMENTAthens, 27 June 2000 (17:33 UTC+2)
Right wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis accused the government and the prime minister of an effort to divide society and create a climate of tension and conflict speaking after the party central committee meeting today.
Mr. Karamanlis pointed out that the government opened a conflict with the Church without a reason and called for understanding, cooperation and consensus. On the in-party politics, Mr. Karamanlis called on all the ND members to be in a state of readiness, while he predicted speedy political developments linked with the course of the issues of national interest and the pressures exerted by different interests.
 THE COURT TRIAL OF A GREEK POLICE OFFICER WHO SHOT AND KILLED A SERB STUDENT OPENED IN THESSALONIKI TODAYThessaloniki, 27 June 2000 (17:33 UTC+2)
The trial of police officer Kiriakos Vantoulis, who is accused of manslaughter for the death of a young Serb student, opened in Thessaloniki today with the testimony of the victim's father.
As soon as the court session started, the prosecutor asked for the officer's service handgun to be presented to the court as evidence.
According to the bill of indictment, the handgun that shot the 17yearold Serb student had jammed and the court approved the request made by his parents to launch an investigation. Police officer Kiraikos Vantoulis apologized to the parents of the young Serb.
 STANFORD WAS RELEASED FROM THE EVANGELISMOS HOSPITALAthens, 27 June 2000 (17:33 UTC+2)
The 60yearold British embassy employee, who attempted to commit suicide, was released from the Evangelismos Hospital in Athens today.
Anthony Stanford has stated that he had not informed brigadier Saunders over the suspicious moves made by two individuals on a motorcycle outside the embassy a few days before his assassination.
 GAINS OF 3.27% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 27 June 2000 (17:32 UTC+2)
Impressive gains of 3.27% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today and the general index was at 4.173,35 points, while the volume of transactions was satisfactory at 158.6 billion drachmas.
Market analysts characterized today's upward trend as expected, while the increase in the volume of transactions was regarded as a very positive fact.
Of the stocks trading today, 342 recorded gains, only two had losses and 16 remained stable.
 THE GREEK EXPORTS TO TURKEY INCREASED BY 210.9%Thessaloniki, 27 June 2000 (17:32 UTC+2)
Greece's exports to Turkey increased by 210.9% in the first trimester of the current year reaching US$ 133.4 million, while Turkey's exports to Greece increased only by 1.9%, according to the Turkish newspaper "Sabah".
Cotton dominates in the Greek exports as in the period of January-March 2000 the exported cotton had a total value of US$ 76 million compared to US$ 10 million the previous year. In contrast to the Greek exports, Turkey's exports to Greece increased only by 1.9% at US$ 95 million.
 GOVERNMENT MEETING ON THE ISSUE OF THE IDENTITY CARDSAthens, 27 June 2000 (17:17 UTC+2)
Prime minister Kostas Simitis had a meeting today with education minister Petros Efthimiou, minister of press Dimitris Reppas and undersecretary of press Tilemachos Hitiris.
Mr. Reppas stated that the issue of the listing of religion on identity cards is under the exclusive authority of the state and therefore, the state does not have any reason to raise the issue to the Church.
He also said that the Church is the one that raises the issue of the dialogue therefore, it must make a request for a meeting with the prime minister, while he reiterated that the government has already made its decision against the listing of religion on the identity cards.
 THE HOLY SYNOD IS EXPECTED TO REACH DECISIONS ON THE ID CARDS ISSUE TOMORROWAthens, 27 June 2000 (17:17 UTC+2)
The Lasting Holy Synod of the Church of Greece continues its meeting at the Monastery of Petraki in Athens, while decisions on the issue of the identity cards will be reached tomorrow.
Metropolite Kallinikos of Piraeus stated that the Church continues to back the voluntary listing of religion on the state-issued identity cards and repeated the proposal for dialogue with the government exclusively on the issue of the identity cards. He also stated that the Church's stance reflects the faith and the stance of the overwhelming majority of the Greek people.
 202 ATHLETES IN THE EUROPEAN BOXING CHAMPIONSHIPAthens, 27 June 2000 (17:16 UTC+2)
The heart of the European boxing beats in Athens, where the 5th European Children's Championship will be held on July 12-17.
In the event participate 27 countries with 201 athletes. Specifically, Croatia 4, Israel 12, Bulgaria 11, Hungary 12, Romania 10, Sweden 2, Germany 12, Russia 13, Latvia 2, Poland 3, Finland 2, Estonia 6, Moldavia 10, Lithuania 4, Yugoslavia 5, Ukraine 13, Georgia 13, Portugal 5, Ireland 5, Slovenia 6, Slovakia 4, Belarus 5, Italy 7, Turkey 12, Czech Republic 3, Armenia 8 and Greece 13.
 WEAK TREMOR IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 27 June 2000 (17:16 UTC+2)
A weak tremor measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale was recorded at 1:10pm today and its epicenter was located in the region of Nea Efkarpia in Thessaloniki.
The tremor shook the city of Thessaloniki alarming many people. According to statements made to MPA by the seismologists in Thessaloniki's Aristotle University, the region of Nea Efkarpia has not given strong earthquakes in the past 50 years and based on the existing indications it was a local, isolated tremor.
Similar weak tremors measuring 3.3 and 3.8 on the Richter scale had been recorded in the same region about a year ago.
 ΒΑΛΚΑΝΙΚΟ ΣΥΝΕΔΡΙΟ ΓΙΑ ΤΗ ΓΕΩΡΓΙΑ ΣΤΙΣ ΣΕΡΡΕΣΘεσσαλονίκη, 27 June 2000 (15:14 UTC+2)
Βαλκανικό συνέδριο για την επιστημονική και εμπορική συνεργασία των Επιμελητηρίων της Νοτιοανατολικής Ευρώπης, στο χώρο της έρευνας, παραγωγής και εμπορίας γεωργικών προϊόντων, θα πραγματοποιηθεί εντός των προσεχών μηνών στις Σέρρες.
Η πρωτοβουλία για τη διοργάνωση του συνεδρίου ήταν του προέδρου της διοικούσας επιτροπής του ΓΕΩΤ.Ε.Ε. Ανατολικής Μακεδονίας Αθανάσιου Μπάντη. Στόχος των διοργανωτών είναι η πρωτοβουλία αυτή να επιχορηγηθεί από το ΥΠΕΘΟ, με 5.000.000 δρχ, επιδίωξη που την είχε υποστηρίξει η τέως υφυπουργός Εθνικής Οικονομίας, Ροδούλα Ζήση.
Παράλληλα, ο κ. Μπαντής αναφέρθηκε και στην προσπάθεια που αναλαμβάνει το ΓΕΩΤΕΕ για την "ανάγκη στήριξης της "Αγροτικής Διπλωματίας", της Ελλάδας και της σύσφιξης των σχέσεων της χώρας μας με τα βαλκανικά κράτη, θέμα στο οποίο δίδει ιδιαίτερη σημασία και το υπουργείο Γεωργίας, όπως αυτό καταγράφεται με την επίσκεψη του υπουργού Γεωργίας, Γιώργου Ανωμερίτη, στην Τουρκία".
Σημειώνεται ότι η οργανωτική επιτροπή του συνεδρίου, αποτελείται από τον κ.Αθανάσιο Μπαντή ως επικεφαλής, τον Δημήτριο Σωτηριάδη, την Ανανία Μάμαλη, τον Δημήτριο Σαράφη και τον Νικόλαο Μπαρδάκη. Περαιτέρω, η οργανωτική επιτροπή θα πλαισιωθεί από τα μέλη της διοικούσας επιτροπής του ΓΕΩΤΕΕ, τα οποία θα προκύψουν από τις προσεχείς εκλογές και θα κατάγονται από το νομό Σερρών.
Κατά τις προσεχείς ημέρες ο κ. Μπαντής θα μεταβεί στην Αθήνα για την υπογραφή της σχετικής σύμβασης επιχορήγησης και θα συναντηθεί με στελέχη του ΥΠΕΘΟ και του υπουργείου Γεωργίας, ώστε να καταστεί δυνατή η ευρύτερη δυνατή συμμετοχή αλλά και αρτιότερη η διοργάνωσή του συνεδρίου.
 ΒΑΛΚΑΝΙΚΗ ΔΙΑΣΚΕΨΗ ΣΤΗΝ ΟΧΡΙΔΑ ΓΙΑ ΤΗ ΔΙΑΦΘΟΡΑΟχρίδα, 26 June 2000 (22:47 UTC+2)
Εληξε σήμερα στην Οχρίδα η τριήμερη βαλκανική διάσκεψη με θέμα "Νεολαία, Πολιτικό Σύστημα και Διαφθορά", που οργάνωσε η Σοσιαλδημοκρατική Νεολαία της ΠΓΔΜ.
Βασικό θέμα συζήτησης ήταν η επίδραση της διαφθοράς στην πολιτική και οι μηχανισμοί για την πάταξη της.
Στη διάσκεψη συμμετείχαν εκπρόσωποι Σοσιαλδημοκρατικών Νεολαιών από τις χώρες τις Βαλκανικής.