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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-10-10
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 THE DAMAGES CAUSED BY THE FLOODS IN CHALKIDIKI ARE ESTIMATED AT 1 BILLION DRACHMASThessaloniki, 10 October 2000 (18:04 UTC+2)
The responsible authorities are assessing the damages in Chalkidiki and the monastic community of Mount Athos, northern Greece caused by the recent flash floods that were the result of the strong rainfall recorded in the region last Saturday night.
According to draft calculations, the damages caused in the region of Megali Panagia in Chalkidiki, where a 20yearold man was drowned, are estimated to be over 1 billion drachmas without taking into account the tens of cars that were destroyed.
 THE GREEK INVESTMENT PRESENCE IN ARMENIAThessaloniki, 10 October 2000 (17:34 UTC+2)
Greece ranks second among foreign investors who became active in Armenia in the first three months of 2000 with direct investments of US$12.5 million, according to figures provided by the Armenian Statistics Agency ARMSTAT.
The first place is occupied by Russia with direct investments of US$ 17.7 million, while the third and fourth place is occupied by Canada and the United States with US$4.7 million and US$3.2 million respectively.
Meanwhile, the overall foreign investments in Armenia in the specific period of time increased by 130% compared to the same period last year, while the increase of direct foreign investments was impressive reaching 120%.
 ANCIENT MACEDONIAN CITY DISCOVERED BY ARCHAEOLOGISTS NEAR THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 10 October 2000 (17:06 UTC+2)
A Macedonian city, smaller than ancient Pella, with walls, cemeteries and ancient treasures was unearthed by archaeologists in the region of Apollonia, near Thessaloniki. The city was found in the same region where last August a farmer had discovered a unique golden chaplet that was delivered to the responsible authorities.
The city is smaller in size than ancient Pella and it was built at a passage linking Macedonia with Thrace and Chalkidiki.
Based on the findings that were unearthed, the region was continuously populated from the bronze era until the Byzantine times.
 LOSSES OF 0.85% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 10 October 2000 (16:55 UTC+2)
Losses of 0.85% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today and the general index was at 3.897,05 points, while the volume of transactions was disappointing at 58.9 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today 72 recorded gains and 279 had losses, while 26 remained unchanged.
 SAMINA CAPTAIN:FIRST MATE WAS GROSSLY NEGLIGENTThessaloniki, 10 October 2000 (14:50 UTC+2)
In testimony provided today, the captain of the ferry boat that sunk on September 26 accuses his first mate of having shown "gross negligence" that led to the disaster which that cost the lives of 80 people.
According to today's issue of the Athens daily "Ta Nea", the Captain of the Samina Express ferry Vasilis Yiannakis openly accuses first mate Anastasios Psychoyios during his testimony before an appeals court judge, stating that "I can't accept his excuses... None of his claims stand. There's no way a wave can shift a ship..."
Both Yiannakis and Psychoyios have been remanded pending trial on multiple counts of manslaughter "with possible intent" and other lesser charges".
The first mate, who insists that the disaster was caused by adverse weather, is also targeted in testimonies provided by two other defendants, helmsman Panayiotis Kasdaglis and midshipman George Patelas.
According to the investigation's findings so far, none of the crew's four members who were assigned to the ship's bridge that ill-fated night attribute the accident to mechanical malfunction -something which Psychoyios himself vehemently rules out, even though his attorneys are claiming otherwise.
Capt. Yiannakis accuses Psychoyios of having failed to summon him quickly enough so that he could be at the ship's bridge, and said that "I would never steer the vessel to the left or the right, since there would a risk of lateral impact with deadly results, which is what happened... I also believe that had he (Psychoyios) turned the helm 25 degrees to the left, then the impact would have taken place at the stern and we would have suffered lesser damages."
The defendants are appearing before an appeals court judge, an unusual measure taken when the crimes are so serious that they need investigation by the most experienced judicial officials.
The council of appeals court judges on Syros - the administrative center of the Cycladic islands -have elected their colleague Nikos Karadimitriou to lead the investigation. Dimitris Hondroyiannis will be his substitute.
 GREEK PRESIDENT MEETS WITH LATVIAN COUNTERPARTRiga, 10 October 2000 (11:40 UTC+2)
The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, presently on a visit to Latvia, met with his Latvian counterpart Vike Freiberga in Riga yesterday, with whom he discussed bilateral relations in the trade sector.
During the talks, President Stephanopoulos reiterated Athens' support for Latvia's desire to join Euro-Atlantic alliances and stated that Greece is interested in furthering the bilateral relations in the economic, cultural and higher education sectors. Furthermore, he briefed President Freiberga on Greek-Turkish affairs and the Cyprus problem, as well as the situation in the Balkans.
In turn, the Latvian President said that Mr. Stephanopoulos' visit was a political confirmation of her country's right to sovereignty and wish to join Euro-Atlantic alliances, adding that her country wished for bilateral cooperation to also include the defence sector.
Later in the day, President Stephanopoulos addressed a forum of Greek and Latvian businessmen, noting that the success of his visit would depend on their success in closing business agreements.
The Greek President is accompanied by Deputy National Economy Minister Yiannis Zapheiropoulos and Deputy Foreign Minister Angeliki Laiou. His next stop will by Estonia.
 GREEK PRESIDENT LAUDS KOSTUNICA ON ELECTIONAthens, 10 October 2000 (11:13 UTC+2)
The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos has sent a congratulatory telegram to newly-elected Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica, both personally and on behalf of the Greek people, for his election victory and wished him success in his "lofty mission", while also sending wishes for the "progress and prosperity of the friendly Yugoslav people".
President Stephanopoulos, whose message was delivered to President Kostunica by Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou on Saturday, expressed his certainty that traditionally good relations and friendship and cooperation between the two countries would be strengthened and developed in the interests of both peoples during his period of office and at "this important and historic conjuncture".
"Greece, together with the other democratic countries of the world which are united by common values and virtues, will be very happy to welcome Yugoslavia again, under the guidance of Mr. Kostunica, in the family of European democratic countries where it traditionally belongs," President Stephanopoulos said.
 SHIPWRECK SURVIVOR FILES FIRST SUIT FOR DAMAGESThessaloniki, 10 October 2000 (11:09 UTC+2)
A claim for damages over 50 million drachmas, the first in a series that are expected to ensue, has been filed against Minoan Flying Dolphins by one of the survivors of September 26's disastrous shipwreck where 80 people lost their lives.
The lawsuit, filed by 19-year-old Efstathios Livieratos, also calls for the attachment of the shipping company's property, while the court of the first instance has already proceeded to temporarily restrain the title transfer of the "High Speed 4".
Another man, Emannuel Kalargyros, who lost both his parents in the shipwreck, has filed a complaint with the Piraeus district attorney against the ferry's crew, the Merchant Marine Ministry's registry for inspections of merchant ships, et al.
The 34-year-old vessel "Samina" sank after hitting a large patch of rocks in rough seas about two miles off the island.
According to survivor reports, the ship fell apart as it sank and panicked passengers started jumped overboard when the ferry boat listed and began sinking.
 REGIONS PUBLIC ORDER MINISTERS MEET IN CORFUCorfu, 10 October 2000 (10:17 UTC+2)
The Public Order Ministers of Greece, Albania and Italy are to meet at the island of Corfu today, where they will sign a memorandum of cooperation in the combat of regional organized crime.
Greece's Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysochoides is to also hold talks with his counterpart from FYROM in the near future.
Today's meeting is a continuance of Mr. Chrysochoides' contacts in Tirana and Sofia.
 MASSIVE STRIKES PARALYZE THE COUNTRY TODAYThessaloniki, 10 October 2000 (09:55 UTC+2)
Massive strikes are expected to paralyze the country today, as unions remain adamant to their decision not to accept government proposals on social security and labor reforms.
Called by Greece's Greece's largest union umbrella, the General confederation of Greek Laborers (GSSE) and the civil servants' union ADEDY, the strike will be observed by most of the country's labor force, including staff in hospitals, the phone and public utilities companies, the banking sector (certainly by employees at the state-owned banks) and the post office. Most schools will also remain closed, while public transportation will also come to a halt in Thessaloniki this afternoon.
Also, the national air carrier Olympic Airways will conduct one flight per route, while the railroad organization (OTE) will operate only six trains.
 GREEK-BULGARIAN CONFERENCE IN SOFIA WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE INTERREG PROGRAMSofia, 10 October 2000 (17:12 UTC+2)
A Greek-Bulgarian one-day conference was held in Sofia yesterday within the framework of the inter-border cooperation program INTERREG.
Greek Alpha Bank executive Mr. Anastasios Stefis stated in the conference that the basic reason for the fact that there is no further improvement in the Greek-Bulgarian banking relations is Bulgaria's underdeveloped banking system.
Sofia's newspaper "Standard" published statements by Greek embassy commercial attache Dimosthenis Parnassos according to which, Bulgaria has a clear European prospect and strategic position that makes it attractive for the Greek investments.
He also stated that in the past two months Greek banks and companies like the National Bank of Greece and ANTENNA TV have invested over US$ 300 million in the Bulgarian economy.
Meanwhile, according to the Greek embassy commercial attache, the Greek companies active in Bulgaria are estimated to be about 1.200.
 CYPRUS PROTESTED IN THE UN ON THE AIRSPACE VIOLATIONS BY TURKEYNicosia, 10 October 2000 (17:02 UTC+2)
Cypriot government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou stated today that Cyprus' permanent representative in the United Nations Sotos Zakheos addressed a letter to UN secretary-general on October 4 accusing Turkey of repeated violations of Cyprus' airspace and the Nicosia FIR.
The violations were made by Turkish fighter jets throughout the months of August and September.