|Sunday, 19 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-10-16
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 BEGLITIS: GREECE IS WAITING FOR THE EU MESSAGE TO ALBANIAAthens, 16 October 2000 (16:40 UTC+2)
Greece responded to the electoral fraud against the Greek minority in Albania during the second round of the municipal elections in Himara yesterday by briefing the European Union and the international organizations on the issue. Foreign ministry spokesman Panagiotis Beglitis stated that the Greek government follows with concern the situation in the southern part of Albania.
Mr. Beglitis pointed out that there is a complete picture of the irregularities that were committed and stressed that the priority for the Greek efforts is to protect the rights of the Greek minority in Albania. He also announced that that the issue will be handled through the European Union in order to send the right messages to the government and the opposition parties in Albania.
He stated characteristically that these developments affect Albania's relations with the European Union as well as Albania's relations with Greece, adding that the Albanian side must correspond to the good relations with Greece and honor its obligations. Mr. Beglitis stressed that the Greek side briefed and continues to brief the European Union and the international organizations on the figures that display the extend of the irregularities committed in Himara, while it is waiting for the message the EU will send to Albania.
Greek deputy foreign minister Elisavet Papazoi also referred to the issue after the meeting she had with her Hungarian counterpart. She said that Greece will not be apathetic to the developments and underlined that the Greek government is interested in the safety and the protection of the Greek minority rights in Albania.
 DEFENSE MINISTER ON HURDLES IN NATO EXERCISEAthens, 16 October 2000 (11:59 UTC+2)
Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos has warned NATO that the Greek forces will withdraw from the Alliance's military exercise "Destined Glory 2000" if what had been agreed upon was not followed.
Nevertheless, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos added that there is still time to change the plans, as airborne exercises are not to begin until tomorrow.
Meanwhile, six Greek jet fighters F-16 remain grounded due to the Turkish demand not to include the airspace over the Aegean islands of Limnos and Ikaria Consultations continue in Eski Sehir, Turkey.
Greece on Thursday temporarily ordered the six warplanes 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.
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 to issue new orders on the air corridors.
 COMMENTS BY REPPAS ON THE ELECTIONS IN ALBANIAAthens, 16 October 2000 (17:40 UTC+2)
The Greek government will take all necessary measures to safeguard the rights of the ethnic Greek minority, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, commenting on the irregularities, the violence and the beatings that were recorded during the second round of municipal elections held in Himara yesterday.
Mr. Reppas reiterated that the stance of the neighboring country affects bilateral relations and stressed that Greece wants the improvement of the Greek-Albanian relations but this is not a one-way street. He said that there must be mutual effort and pointed out that there is a deficit of democracy in Albania, while he expressed the belief that the neighboring country will move quickly toward democratization.
On the electoral process, Mr. Reppas underlined that the Albanian government had guaranteed smooth elections which did not happen as according to evidence at the Greek government's disposal, there have been violations of the electoral legislation.
Finally, the Greek government spokesman stated that the Greek foreign ministry will bring the issue to International Organizations and will brief the European Union on the violations of the Greek minority rights.
 WORLD BANK: CONTRACTS OF US$ 24.3 MILLION WITH GREECEThessaloniki, 16 October 2000 (17:20 UTC+2)
Contracts worth US$ 24.3 million were signed by Greece and the World Bank in the past three years aimed at funding 21 major investment plans that are being materialized in Greece.
Apart from these major investment projects, that correspond to 60% of the approved applications submitted by Greece, there other smaller investment plans as well on which there are no specific data available, according to Jules Garcia, head of the World Bank office in Europe, who attended a one-day economic conference held in Thessaloniki today.
Specifically, in the period July 1998-June 1999, the World Bank had signed with Greece contracts of US$ 7.139 million for the funding of seven investment plans by Greek businesses in Albania, Kirgizia, Moldavia, Nepal, Nigeria and Russia.
 GREEK SCIENTISTS WORKED IN ISTANBUL'S ST. SOPHIA CHURCHAthens, 16 October 2000 (16:51 UTC+2)
New methods of diagnoses of the extend of damage in Istanbul's St. Sophia church were implemented for the first time by a group of Greek scientists, while at the same time they used a pilot application of plaster similar to that used when the church was built about 15 centuries ago.
The science and material technique sector research team of Metsovion National Polytechnic School department of chemical engineering participated in the project for a week, within the framework of the cultural protocol signed by the foreign ministers of Greece and Turkey.
The Greek scientists stress that if the Turks had used high durability concrete for the restoration of the monument its behavior in the earthquakes would have been different and it would have suffered serious damages.
 GAINS OF 2.42% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 16 October 2000 (16:45 UTC+2)
Today's session in the Athens Stock Exchange brought back optimism as the general index responded to the expectations of the investors and recorded gains of 2.42% at 3.790,98 points, while the volume of transactions was at 55.6 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today 342 recorded gains, 19 had losses and 17 remained unchanged.
The Greek stock market was affected by the positive climate due to the rise recorded in the foreign stock markets as well as, by the hopes for the de-escalation of the tension in the Middle East. The imminent publication of the draft bill on the construction companies also had an effect on the creation of a positive atmosphere.
 TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS INCREASED BY 5% IN GREECEIoannina, 16 October 2000 (16:29 UTC+2)
The traffic accidents increased by 5% in Greece in the past few years, while they were reduced in the rest of Europe, according to the findings displayed in the Greek conference on traffic accidents that was held in Ioannina, north-western Greece under the auspices of the University of Ioannina.
As it was stressed in the conference, pedestrians and private car passengers, who are over the age of 65, are 15 times more likely to lose their lives.
Based on the figures provided by the University of Ioannina, the typical Greek driver is described as impatient (73.2%), in a hurry (46.4%), rude to other drivers and pedestrians (35.3%) and without sufficient knowledge of the Highway Code (96.4%).
 TAX EVASION IS SKYROCKETING IN GREECEThessaloniki, 16 October 2000 (16:15 UTC+2)
Tax evasion and the tax and customs violations in general make up the majority of the cases examined by the Greek Economic Crime Enforcement Agency.
Specifically, a total of 502.573 cases have been recorded in the period from April 1,1997 until December 31, 1999 and 83.6% of them concerned tax violations. In 1998, in a total of 631.361 cases 61.5% of them concerned tax violations.
Finally, in 1999, in a total of 518.764 cases 62.26% concerned tax violations.
 THE GREEK GOVERNMENT WILL DEFEND THE RIGHTS OF THE ETHNIC GREEK MINORITY IN ALBANIAAthens, 16 October 2000 (15:08 UTC+2)
The Greek foreign ministry has concluded that there have been serious irregularities in the election process in Albania during the second round of the municipal elections in Himara. This fact has caused the concern of the Greek government, according to a statement made by Greek foreign ministry spokesman Panagiotis Beglitis.
The violations observed caused concern as the Albanian government had guaranteed smooth elections, while the serious democratic deficit in Albania was displayed one more time, stated Mr. Beglitis. The Greek foreign ministry spokesman also pointed out that the Greek government will bring the democratic rights of the ethnic Greek minority in Albania before the European Union and international organizations.
 GREECE TO DEFEND ITS MINORITYS RIGHTS IN ALBANIAAthens, 16 October 2000 (13:56 UTC+2)
A great number of serious violations were noted during the second round of voting for municipal elections in the Albanian region of Chimara, according to Greece's Foreign Ministry.
As the Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Panayiotis Beglitis said, "this observation causes special concern regarding the extent to which the Albanian government had guaranteed the smooth course of the elections.
"Once more, the serious democratic deficit in Albania is confirmed. The Greek government will defend the democratic rights of the Greek minority at the European Union and international organizations."
 WELSH, ITALIAN STUDENTS, TEACHERS IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 16 October 2000 (13:43 UTC+2)
A delegation of students and teachers from Wales and Italy are presently conducting a visit to Thessaloniki, within the framework of the European Union's Leonardo da Vinci program.
The foreign students and teachers are to visit the First Technical and Vocational School at Evosmos and will meet with their Greek counterparts in order to exchange information on the program. The Leonardo da Vinci program concerns the maintenance and restoration of old buildings.
 THE HUMAN RIGHTS UNION PARTY IN ALBANIA MADE ACCUSATIONS OF ELECTORAL FRAUDTirana, 16 October 2000 (18:11 UTC+2)
Human Rights Union Party representative Zana Bihikou stated that the party voters were the targets of open electoral fraud and intimidation in Albania not only in the municipality of Himara but in the community of Finikio and the prefecture of Delvino as well.
In statements she made to MPA, Ms. Bihikou presented facts on a number of electoral procedure irregularities recorded at the polling stations in Himara and Finikio. She stated specifically, that in the village of Pult, in the region of Himara, the registered voters are 90 but when the ballot-box was opened there were 500 ballot papers in it, stressing that the number of the ballot papers was of decisive importance for the election result. In another incident, a fabricated population increase was also recorded in the village of Pilur.
Party candidate Vasilis Bolanos, who was supported by the ethnic Greek minority, allegedly got just 23% of the votes yesterday, while in the first round he had received 37% of the votes. Given the fact that the participation of the ethnic Greek minority members was greater in yesterday's second round of the municipal elections one can easily wonder where did their votes go, stated Ms. Bihikou.
She also denied the Albanian mass media reports according to which, the party's representatives overseeing the voting process in the polling stations had signed the election results minutes, stressing that on the contrary they left their posts in a show of protest. Ms. Bihikou also accused the police of exerting psychological force on the party voters and party president Vasil Melo will brief the ODHIR observers on the violations of the electoral process.
Ms. Bihikou stated that her party will adopt its final stance after the final election results will be announced and the foreign observers' reports are made public.
 THE GREEKS LIVING IN EUROPE COORDINATE THEIR STEPSFrankfurt, 16 October 2000 (18:34 UTC+2)
The estimated 100 delegates, who attended the two-day conference of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad, SAE-Europe presiding boards of federations and agencies that was held in Frankfurt, Germany last weekend, reached the conclusion that there is a need for better coordination of the Greek communities federations in European countries and in addition they agreed that coordinated efforts must be made for the active participation of the young Greeks living abroad in the Greek community organizations.
In its presentation the SAE-Europe Coordinating Council pointed out that even though there are many Greek community organizations there is no united Greek voice strong enough to demand the improvement of their members' living conditions, education and social benefits by the local authorities and governments.
Council president Angelos Aslanidis stated that even though everything changes in the world the Greek immigrants remain firm in the form of their representation and they do not realize that they are losing even their own children, who are drifting away from the Greek cultural background.