|Monday, 27 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-10-13
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 RUSSIAN FM IVANOV MEETS WITH GREEK COUNTERPARTAthens, 13 October 2000 (10:02 UTC+2)
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov conducted a one-day visit to Athens yesterday, where he met with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou and discussed the developments in Yugoslavia, the Middle East and the Cyprus issue.
Mr. Ivanov expressed his country's satisfaction with the European Union's recent decision to lift several sanctions leveled against Yugoslavia by the 15-country community.
In turn, Mr. Papandreou reiterated that the newly-elected Kostunica government must now be supported in order for democratization and reconstruction of Yugoslavia to proceed, stressing that "smooth democratic transition" is the priority.
Before meeting with Papandreou, Ivanov ascended to the top of the Acropolis for a brief but solemn flag-raising ceremony amid a blue Mediterranean sky to mark the 56th anniversary of the liberation of Athens from Nazi occupation.
Prior to departing from Greece, the Russian Foreign Minister also met with main opposition of New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis and the President of the Hellenic Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis.
 THE DOWNWARD TREND CONTINUES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 13 October 2000 (17:24 UTC+2)
The week ended for the Athens Stock Exchange with big losses of 2.81% and the general index closed at 3.701,32 points, while the turnover was low at 73.1 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today only 26 recorded gains, 337 had losses and 15 remained stable.
The majority of the analysts stated that the Athens Stock Exchange was affected by the turbulence in the international capital markets as a result of the bad performance of the Nasdaq. At the same time, the Greek stock market was negatively affected by the unrest in the Middle East and the new rise in the oil prices.
 GREECE APPEALED FOR AN END TO VIOLENCE IN THE MIDDLE EASTAthens, 13 October 2000 (18:08 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas referred to the developments in the Middle East stressing that they have taken up alarming dimensions with chain reaction effects on all sectors and the economy.
He called on the two sides to make bold steps avoiding the use of violence and to sit at the negotiating table as the issue of the Middle East is a major issue that affects the situation in the wider region.
Mr. Reppas also expressed the belief that this is a crucial time for the two leaders to show that they have a sense of responsibility.
 STATEMENTS BY PALESTINIANS AND ISRAELIS IN ATHENSAthens, 13 October 2000 (17:44 UTC+2)
Representatives of Palestinians and Israelis in Athens referred to the situation in the Middle East.
Palestinian authority representative Abdulah Abdulah accused the Israelis of being responsible for the new clashes and stressed that the United States backed Israel.
The Israeli government has launched a war on the Palestinian people to consolidate the Israeli occupation and turn the Palestinians away from their legal national rights to freedom, independence and the creation of an independent state, stated Mr. Abdulah. He also said that the Palestinian people will not raise a white flag to this Israeli attack, adding that the Israelis knew that their efforts to gag the Palestinian people would have no results.
Israel's ambassador to Athens Ran Kuriel called on the Palestinians to end the violence before it is too late and stressed that the international community must persuade Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to stop the war. There is still time to end the violence, stated Mr. Kuriel and stressed that the Palestinians are those who are trying to drag the Middle East into a war.
Israeli chief negotiator in Camp David, Oden Eran stated that Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak has showed that is able and willing to make political sacrifices but Arafat has showed a different road.
 THE ALBANIAN GOVERNMENT SHOULD PROTECT THE GREEK MINORITY RIGHTSThessaloniki, 13 October 2000 (17:32 UTC+2)
The Albanian government has an obligation to protect the rights of the Greek minority in the country, stated Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos commenting on the attacks against the ethnic Greek minority launched by government and Socialist Party officials in view of the second round of the municipal elections in Himara and other regions.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that the Greeks in Albania have the same rights with the Albanian-speaking population in Kosovo for which every Albanian was ready to fight for. Therefore, a positive future can be formed to the extend that those principles are mutually respected. He also said that Greece and Albania are neighbors and work for the same ideals namely, security, peace, development, social progress and prosperity and the efforts toward this direction can continue.
 TSOCHATZOPOULOS ON THE NATO EXERCISEThessaloniki, 13 October 2000 (17:21 UTC+2)
The Greek side expects the lifting of the problems that caused the setback in the NATO exercise in the Aegean in order for the Greek armed forces to participate in the exercise, stated Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos.
Responding to questions by reporters on whether the Greek force will withdraw, he said that the Greek side made it clear from the first moment it took part in exercises in south-eastern Europe and eastern Mediterranean that a precondition for its participation is the respect of everything agreed upon during the preparation of the exercises by NATO's general staffs, as it happened in the previous exercise Dynamic Mix.
He said that certain problems occurred as a result of unfortunate initiatives and added that hopefully the issues will be cleared up immediately and the exercise will be completed based on the initial planning in order for the Greek forces to return to the exercise given the fact that for the moment, the Greek forces do not participate in it.
 THE GREEK MINISTER OF DEFENSE ON THE CRISIS IN THE MIDDLE EASTThessaloniki, 13 October 2000 (17:15 UTC+2)
Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos called for more intense interventions by the European Union and the international community for peace in the Middle East.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos expressed his concern over the latest developments and stated that the Greek government and the Greek people as well as all the European leaders are shocked with the way things develop in the region.
He said that the acts of violence are condemned and what is important is to save the peace process. He also said that all sides have a big responsibility and the European Union countries, among them Greece, will play a leading role in the effort for a positive development.
 OTE REACHES OUT TO ELEVEN POTENTIAL PARTNERSThessaloniki, 13 October 2000 (14:40 UTC+2)
The advisors of the state-run Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) have sent letters to eleven foreign telecommunications conglomerates, inviting expressions of interest in OTE's partial privatization.
The letter, co-signed by consultants Credit Suisse First Boston and UBS Warburg, states the government's intention to sell 20 percent of the utility to a strategic investor.
According to the Athens daily "Imerisia", the letter, which sets October 20 as the deadline for response, is addressed to British Telecom, France Telecom, Deutsche Telecom, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, KPN, Telia, Sonera, Telenor, SBC Communications and NTT.
 US AMBASSADOR TO TOUR THRACE NEXT WEEKThessaloniki, 13 October 2000 (14:39 UTC+2)
The United States Ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns is to embark on a three-day tour of Thrace and Eastern Macedonia next week, where he will be the keynote speaker at an event co-organized by the Greek-American Chamber of Commerce and the Industries-Manufacturers Association of Rodopi.
Not all are welcoming the ambassador's arrival in the region, as a protest rally has been organized for Monday night at the central square of Komotene.
 GREEK MD PERFORMS LARGEST MULTI-TRANSPLANTAthens, 13 October 2000 (14:25 UTC+2)
A Greek surgeon has entered the Guinness World Record Book for having performed a simultaneous transplant of eight intestinal organs on a young Italian patient.
Dr. Andreas Tzakis, a pioneer in intestinal transplants who heads the multi-organ transplantation unit at the University of Miami Medical School -where he also teaches-, referred to his methods during a conference held at the Evangelismos hospital in Athens.
According to the Athens daily "Ta Nea" , the unprecedented transplantation of eight organs lasted 36 hours and was based on the innovative method that allows for the gradual tolerance of the transplant by the recipient, so as to eventually phase out the need for immunosuppressive drugs.
The said method utilizes a natural phenomenon known as "chimerism", a mixture of donor and recipient cells that can co-exist in the transplant patient's body.
The establishment of such a mixture of is considered a key mechanism for the long term acceptance of transplanted tissue.
Moreover, in order to increase the number of donor cells and facilitate the mixture of donor and recipient cells, Dr. Tzakis also transplants bone marrow cells along with the transplanted organ.
 IOCs ROGGE ASSURES GREECE OF HIS CONFIDENCEAthens, 13 October 2000 (13:52 UTC+2)
International Olympic Committee Coordination Commission chief Jacques Rogge is to visit Greece on November 22 where he will meet with the country's Athens 2004 organizing committee officials.
In an interview with an Athens radio station yesterday, Mr. Rogge reiterated the need for unity among the Greeks, in terms of the 2004 Olympic Games to be hosted by the Greek capital, and added that attacks against the organizing committee will have to stop.
"I never claimed that the Greek government is not handling the matter well. On the contrary, had my statements been read correctly it would have been ascertained that the IOC does not interfere with the preparations of the Games," Mr. Rogge said.
Moreover, he stressed that the IOC never demanded that the projects related to the Games be ready one year earlier.
"That would be impossible. We asked the government to expedite its timeplan and to have the projects completed by the end of 2003, in other words a few months prior to the originally-planned deadline of May 2004."
Mr. Rogge expressed his optimism that Greece will succeed in organizing the best Games ever.
"You have every ability to organize the best Games ever. Allow me to make it clear that the IOC is not considering recalling its decision to grant the Olympics to Greece. Everything you've read in the foreign press is inaccurate. We gave the Games to Greece because you're worth it. You created the Games and deserve to organize the 2004 Games. It will be difficult. It was difficult for Sydney too, but it turned out to be successful."
 THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH INAUGURATED A MEDICAL CENTER IN IASIO, ROMANIABucharest, 13 October 2000 (17:38 UTC+2)
Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos inaugurated the "Providentsa" medical center in Iasio, north-eastern Romania. It is the largest clinic in the country of a charitable nature.
It is the Ecumenical Patriarch's sixth visit to Romania and it was made at the invitation of Patriarch Theoktistos of Romania.
The medical center has a capacity of 25 beds as well as specialized laboratories and the patients are treated for free.
 THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST WAS DISCUSSED IN THE BIARRITZ INFORMAL SUMMITBiarritz, 13 October 2000 (18:45 UTC+2)
The situation in the Middle East was at the center of the talks in the Biarritz informal EU summit meeting in France. The European Union leaders stressed that there is a strong risk for a further escalation of the tension.
Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis stated that an explosive development would cause the destabilization of the wider region, adding that indicative of the existing climate is the oil price hikes. Mr. Simitis stated that a priority for the European leaders is to end the escalation of the violence and the resumption of negotiations.
The EU leaders called for an emergency Middle East summit to restore dialogue and end this week's eruption of violence and bloodshed between Israelis and Palestinians. They mentioned that for the Israeli prime minister and the Palestinian Authority there is no other path than the one of peace and negotiation on the basis of the Camp David accords, stressing that the peace process must be saved.