|Wednesday, 29 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-10-15
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 BOMB PLANTED OUTSIDE EX-MARINE MINISTERS OFFICEAthens, 15 October 2000 (19:35 UTC+2)
Authorities yesterday detonated a powerful bomb planted outside the Piraeus office of former merchant marine minister Stavros Soumakis, who has become the target of harsh criticism over alleged shady deals during his tenure.
An anarchist group called Revolutionary Nuclei claimed responsibility for the bomb when an anonymous telephone call was made at about 2.15pm to the Athens daily "Eleftherotypia" and the privately-owned Flash radio warning that a bomb planted at Mr. Soumakis' fifth floor office was to go off in exactly 25 minutes.
Critics have accused the former minister of showing preference for certain shipping lines in the issuing of permits to operate on specific routes. He is accused of providing preferential treatment to Minoan Flying Dolphins (MFD), the operator of the Express Samina that ran aground on September 26 killing 80 people.
 KOSTUNICA PLANS TO CHANGE NAME OF YUGOSLAVIAAthens, 15 October 2000 (19:30 UTC+2)
Greece's Prime Minister Costas Simitis will probably be the first European leader to meet new Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica after Jacques Chirac, who holds the European Union's rotating presidency.
Mr. Simitis personally relayed to Yugoslaiva's newly-elected president Voislav Mostunica, whom he met on the sidelines of the European Union's Biarritz-held informal summit, an invitation by President Kostis Stephanopoulos to visit Greece.
Responding to a question posed by the Macedonian Press Agency, Mr. Simitis stated that Mr. Kostunica told him that there is no role for former president Slobodan Milosevic in Yugoslavia's new political scene and also disclosed that Mr. Kostunica plans to change his country's name to "Serbia-Mentenegro".
 47 RESCUED FROM FERRY WITH MECHANICAL PROBLEMSAthens, 15 October 2000 (19:38 UTC+2)
Thirty-two passengers and 15 crew members of a passenger ferry boat spent at least five hours aboard the malfunctioning vessel in the Saronic Gulf, before the Express Karystos ferry they were on was towed back to shore after experiencing mechanical difficulties shortly after it departed from the port of Lavrio.
The ferry's captain advised the coastguard that he was experiencing problems with the ship's wheel. He reportedly said the ship "would not obey". The Express Karystos entered a cove to wait out gale force nine winds in the area. All passengers and crew were safe, according to the merchant marine ministry.
 ONE KILLED WHEN CARGO SHIP LISTS IN AEGEAN SEAAlexandroupolis, 15 October 2000 (19:37 UTC+2)
A sailor was killed yesterday when the cargo ship he was on began to sink in the eastern region of the Aegean Sea, near the island of Samothrace, while the remaining nine crew members were rescued by a passing Turkish merchant vessel along with a Greek navy frigate and two helicopters.
Forty-one year old assistant cook Michalis Hatzigeorgios was
fatally injured when the Greek-flagged Ytong I cargo ship, which was carrying lumber, began to list dangerously at around 5.30pm. The accident appears to have been caused by displacement of the ship's cargo, the ministry of merchant marine said.
The vessel was towed to the port of Alexandroupolis.
 DEFENSE MINISTER ON HURDLES IN NATO EXERCISEThessaloniki, 15 October 2000 (19:30 UTC+2)
Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos stated today that the recent problems that have arisen in the NATO military exercises do not concern Greek-Turkish relations, but are rather a concern of the Alliance.
Greece on Thursday temporarily ordered six warplanes participating in a NATO maneuver, code-named "Destined Glory 2000, exercise based in Turkey to withdraw after Ankara requested changes in pre-determined flight corridors and the exclusion of two passing over strategically placed Greek islands.
According to the Greek general staff, the flight corridors in which NATO fighters were to operate during the exercise, had been agreed upon during the planning stages of the exercise without any objection.
According to government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas, Athens will decide today whether to allow its air, ground and naval forces to rejoin the NATO maneuvers.
"We are waiting for orders to be issued regarding how operations will be conducted tomorrow, and will take action accordingly.
"If we return to the original planning, then we will take part in the exercise again. If not, we will withdraw our forces... all our forces."
The exercise's commander, U.S. Lt. Gen. Ronald E. Keys, for America was instructed yesterday to return to Turkey and resume command, and is expected today to issue new orders on the air corridors.
 GERMAN AMBASSADOR IN PAROS TO OFFER THANKSAthens, 15 October 2000 (19:27 UTC+2)
German Ambassador Karl Heinz Kuhna is to visit the island of Paros on Tuesday to personally thank the islanders and local authorities for their efforts to save the 19 German tourists on the Express Samina.
German firms are donating over eight million drachmas to the island, to be spent mostly on medical equipment for the local medical center.
 ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH TO VISIT ATHENS PRIVATELYIstanbul, 15 October 2000 (19:26 UTC+2)
Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos is to embark on an eight-day private visit to Athens on Wednesday, where he will arrive by private plane from Istanbul.
On Thursday, the Patriarch will inaugurate a patriarchal representation office in Kolonaki, while in the evening of the same day he will give a speech at Athens University's school of theology.
During his stay, Mr. Vartholomeos will also visit the Athens suburbs of Peristeri and Nea Smyrni, the cities of Patras and Thebes, the town of Megara and the island of Salamis.
The Ecumenical Patriarch is arriving in Greece at a time when the Church of Greece is locked in a dispute with the government over whether religion should be mentioned on the state-issued identity cards.
 US AMBASSADOR TO TOUR THRACE THIS WEEKThessaloniki, 15 October 2000 (19:23 UTC+2)
The United States Ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns is to embark on a three-day tour of Thrace and Eastern Macedonia this 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.
 SECOND ROUND OF MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS IN ALBANIATirana, 15 October 2000 (19:28 UTC+2)
Albanian voters went to the polls today for the second round of municipal elections, despite a call by the Democratic Party of former president Sali Berisha to boycott the vote.
According to the French news agency AFP, which quoted the Central Electoral Commission (CEC), voter turnout stood at 35- 40 percent by midday.
Albanians are to elect mayors in 28 municipalities and 128 towns following the October 1 vote in which the governing Socialist Party won control of local councils throughout the country.
Arguing that the first round was marred by vote-rigging and fraud, the Democratic Party (DP) has called on its followers to stay away from the polls and DP candidates in Tirana as well as four other towns close to the capital have bowed out of the race.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which had sent 200 observers to monitor the October 1 round, declared the vote fair,
 M. EAST CRISIS, YUGOSLAVIA DOMINATE EU SUMMITBiarritz, 15 October 2000 (19:29 UTC+2)
The Middle East crisis, developments in Yugoslavia and the institutional reforms of the European Union dominated discussions during the two-day, informal EU summit which concluded yesterday in Biarritz, France.
French President Jacques Chirac, whose country presently holds the EU's rotting presidency, delivered the closing address of the summit held ahead of the formal Union Summit in December.
In discussions pertaining the EU's institutional reforms, Britain, France and Germany proposed that a ceiling should be put in place regarding the number of European Commissioners, in effect leaving some member-states without representation, as the enlargement process continues.
Greece, as well as most of the member-states with smaller populations, disagreed with the proposal and did not want to discuss the possibility that they may not be represented in the Commission.
Addressing a press conference after the summit, Prime Minister Costas Simitis stated that there was definite progress in discussions to amend the Amsterdam Treaty, adding that quite possibly the "15" would reach an agreement during their formal Summit in Nice, France, in December.