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A.N.A. Bulletin 23/3/95

From: " Greek Press Office BBS, Ottawa" < grnewsca@sympatico.ca>

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN, March 23, 1995
===========================================
Ellnviko Grafeio Tupou kai Plnroforiwv
Ottawa, Canada
E-Mail Address: grnewsca@sympatico.ca)



CONTENTS
========
[1] Greece awaits results of EU meetings in Ankara, troika wants
explanations of Turkish raid on Iraq

[2] President calls on expatriates to show unity with Greece

[3] Skopje says 'too soon' for direct talks with Greece

[4] Iakovos to meet Stephanopoulos, Papoulias today

[5] Greece, Georgia to sign environmental protection accord

[6] Arsenis in Cyprus

[7] 'Stern warnings' meted out to dissenting PASOK cadres

[8] Lawyers strike in Ioannina prevents examination of Delvinaki
seven

[9] Farmers continue to block roads, await meeting with Moraitis
================================================================


[1] Greece awaits results of EU meetings in Ankara, troika wants
explanations of Turkish raid on Iraq
----------------------------------------------------------------
Athens, 23/03/1995 (ANA):

The European Union is to ask for " clear explanations" from
Ankara regarding Turkey's incursion into Iraqi territory Monday
to " root out" Kurdish separatist rebels. In Brussels, a
Commission spokesman said the military operation would be high
on the agenda in today's meetings between the EU troika and
Turkish officials. Sources said the issue of human rights and
the Cyprus problem would also figure prominently in the talks.

In Athens, government spokesman Evangelos Venizelos said that
Greece would await the results of the EU troika's visit, adding
that the EU's position concurred with Greece's.

French foreign minister and president of the European Union's
Council of Ministers Alain Juppe and his Spanish and German
counterparts, Javier Solona and Klaus Kinkel, are expected to
meet with their Turkish counterpart Murat Karayalcin as well as
President Suleyman Demirel, Prime Minister Tansu Ciller and
Turkish National Assembly President Husamettin Cintoruk. EU
Commissioner for External Relations Hans van den Broek will also
be in Ankara at the same time for a meeting with Mr. Karayalcin.

Today's meetings are the first high-level contacts between
Ankara and the EU since the signing of a customs union agreement
earlier this month. The landmark trade pact was achieved only
after protracted negotiations to overcome serious reservations
expressed by EU members and the European Parliament concerning
Ankara's lax attitude to human rights, evinced by its treatment
of its Kurdish minority -- and particularly the conviction of
eight Kurdish deputies -- and the continued occupation of a
third of Cyprus.

Up to 35,000 Turkish troops backed by tanks and jets launched a
three-pronged attack across the un-defended border with northern
Iraq on Monday in pursuit of separatist Kurdish rebels. Turkish
Prime Minister Tansu Ciller said Monday that the operation went
as planned and that she would brief Western leaders, including
US President Bill Clinton, by telephone.

" We want to clear out this area and rip out the roots of the
(PKK) terror operations aimed at our innocent people," Ms Ciller
said. " Utmost effort is being made not to harm civilians. But
the Iraqi Kurds have complained that Turkish forces killed
civilians in a similar cross-border drive against the PKK in
1992. Ankara says it killed about 1,800 Kurdish rebels from
Turkey in that operation.

Opposition in Athens to the operation was fierce. In an
announcement, the Political Spring party said that the slaughter
of the Kurds once more proved the violation of human rights in
Turkey. " It is a global shame that the western countries as well
as the eastern, continue to remain only as onlookers of a
genocide," the announcement said.

The Coalition of the Left and Progress party also said yesterday
that Turkey's military attacks against the Kurds in Iraq were
acquiring the dimensions of genocide. These attacks are a
provocation for the international community and no toleration or
silence can be acceptable concerning the new blood-bath against
a people who are fighting for basic human rights, the
announcement said. The Coalition is organising a solidarity
rally with the Kurds on Tuesday at Klafthmonos square.



[2] President calls on expatriates to show unity with Greece
------------------------------------------------------------
Athens, 23/03/1995 (ANA):

In a message marking Greece's National Day on March 25,
President Kostis Stephanopoulos yesterday called on Greeks
overseas to exhibit unity and solidarity with the mother
country. This unity, he said, will add to the readiness of the
country a force capable of helping in the attainment of national
objectives.

" With a steady European orientation, our country is fighting, as
always, for the maintenance of peace, the recognition of the
historical truth and the protection of human rights in our
region, the Balkans, and in sorely tried Cyprus. I am sure that
sooner or later these values will prevail in our troubled
region, for the good of Greece and our neighbouring countries,"
the president said in his message.



[3] Skopje says 'too soon' for direct talks with Greece
-------------------------------------------------------
Skopje, 23/03/1995 (ANA-M.Vihou):

The foreign minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia said yesterday that it was " too soon" to begin direct
talks with Greece.

Returning from Paris yesterday, Skopje Foreign Minister Stevo
Crvenkovski told reporters that there were " many reasons"
against beginning direct talks with Greece and that " such a
meeting has not been determined yet."

He refuted reports that Skopje had agreed to drop ancient Greek
symbols on its flag and amend its constitution in a trade-off
that would see trade sanctions imposed by Greece removed and the
establishment of diplomatic relations with the US. " We have
clearly stated that we do not accept the embargo to become an
object of negotiations, neither are we willing to agree to any
concessions in order to have the embargo removed, mainly because
13 months after its imposition it is obvious that it h as not
yielded the expected results," Mr. Crvenkovski said.

He said contacts with UN mediator Cyrus Vance would continue,
and that " it remains to be seen as to how things will develop,
so we can reach some objective conditions for dialogue on an
equal basis." He added that the successful outcome of direct
talks with Greece should be secured before such process
commenced.

In Washington, an ANA despatch quoted a State Department
spokesman as saying that " the normalisation of relations between
Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was vital"
and that " the United States is interested in promoting long term
stability" in the Balkans.

" The US policy aims at solving the outstanding differences
between the two nations," the spokesman said, adding that " we
look forward to the continuation of the talks in the near
future" . " We wish to move towards establishing full diplomatic
relations (with FYROM), as soon as the situation allows it and
we are satisfied that such a step would contribute to the
general stability in the region," the spokesman said.

" The situation in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is
relatively stable for the moment," he said, adding that " no
decision has been taken for the deployment of additional US
troops to FYROM." Commenting on Greece's imposition of trade
sanctions against FYROM, he said that the US urged Greece to
lift them for fear of " creating further instability in the
Balkans and complicating the settlement of other issues in the
region."

Greece has imposed trade sanctions as retortion measures against
Skopje in an effort to force it to curb its intransigence and
change its name, remove the ancient Greek symbols from its flag
and amend its constitution expressing expansionist designs
against Greece's northern province of Macedonia.



[4] Iakovos to meet Stephanopoulos, Papoulias today
---------------------------------------------------
Athens, 23/03/1995 (ANA):

Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America will have separate
meetings today with President of the Republic Kostis
Stephanopoulos and Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias. The
Archbishop, who arrived in Athens Tuesday, will also meet with
Education and Religious Affairs Minister George Papandreou and
former president of the republic Constantine Karamanlis.
Yesterday, he met with Archbishop Serapheim of Athens and All
Greece.

The Orthodox primate leaves for New York tomorrow to head events
planned by the Greek-American community to celebrate
Independence Day on March 25. On Monday, Iakovos is scheduled to
meet with US President Bill Clinton at the White House for the
annual signing of the Proclamation of National Independence of
Greece and the United States.



[5] Greece, Georgia to sign environmental protection accord
-----------------------------------------------------------
Athens, 23/03/1995 (ANA):

Greece and the republic of Georgia will sign a bilateral accord
today aimed at boosting co-operation on environmental
protection, Environment ministry sources said yesterday. They
said the accord would be signed by Greek Environment
Under-Secretary Elizabeth Papazoi and the president of the
Georgian parliamentary committee for environmental protection.

Scores of representatives from Black Sea countries are currently
in Athens attending a two-day conference aimed at formulating
strings of action plans to combat pollution in the Black Sea.
Marine experts say 80 per cent of all pollution in Europe is
carried by the rivers which flow into the Black Sea, resulting
in an 80 per cent reduction in fish stocks in the region.

Ms Papazoi said the Environment Ministry would commission the
National Marine Research Centre to conduct a research programme
to establish data on the extent to which the northern Aegean is
affected by pollution in the Black Sea.



[6] Arsenis in Cyprus
---------------------
Athens, 23/03/1995 (ANA):

National Defence Minister Gerasimos Arsenis leaves for Cyprus
today to represent Greece at celebrations for the Greek national
holiday of March 25, which marks the beginning of the 1821 War
of Independence.

During his four-day visit, Mr. Arsenis will also discuss issues
related to the Greek-Cypriot joint defence doctrine with the
political leadership. He will speak at a church service on March
25 and later attend a parade marking the occasion. Mr. Arsenis
will meet with President Glafcos Clerides, Cyprus Defence
Minister Costas Eliades, the primate of the Greek Orthodox
Church Archbishop Chrysostomos, commander of the National Guard
Nicolaos Vorvolakos and the president of the House of
Representatives Alexis Galanos.

He will also visit military bases and give a lecture at the
Cyprus University. He will be accompanied by the Greek
ambassador to Cyprus Alexandros Sandes and a Greek Defence
Ministry official.



[7] 'Stern warnings' meted out to dissenting PASOK cadres
---------------------------------------------------------
Athens, 23/03/1995 (ANA):

Tension within the ruling party PASOK seems to have abated with
the decision by the Ethics Committee yesterday to issue " stern
warnings" to four high-profile dissenters. None of the four
concerned -- former ministers Theodoros Pangalos, Vasso
Papandreou and Dimitris Tsovolas, and former Piraeus mayor
Yiannis Papaspyrou -- offered an immediate reaction.

Referring to Mr. Pangalos and Ms Papandreou in particular, the
Committee stressed that it was " ethically, politically, and
morally unacceptable for prominent cadres of the Movement not to
contribute to the formation of conditions of functioning that
would strengthen PASOK and the government in overcoming problems
and securing a steady course and prospects.

" Submitting to the needs for promotion and any other personal
reasons, which undermines PASOK's cohesion and the work of the
government, does not constitute a function of a political cadre.

" The non-observance of the limits of political propriety and
ethics in challenging PASOK's president and the organs of the
movement is an offence against every sense of political
function...

" The Ethics Committee... considers that there is no room for the
continuation of such practices.

" Any re-occurrence of such practices by a PASOK cadre will
constitute conscious subversion, it will mean that it
dissociates his/her position from the course of the Movement,
and will be dealt with as such" .

The Committee also issued a special caution to Dimitris Tsovolas
on the need to avoid creating " artificial conflict and tension
in the course of his free expression of views and proposals" ,
and called on Yiannis Papaspyrou to realise the limits of
criticism. The Committee's unanimous decision means that the
matter will not be taken to the party's Central Committee.



[8] Lawyers strike in Ioannina prevents examination of Delvinaki
seven
----------------------------------------------------------------
Athens, 23/03/1995 (ANA):

The seven armed men arrested near the Greek-Albanian border
Sunday will appear before an investigating magistrate in
Ioannina today and not yesterday as scheduled. The seven, facing
charges of illegal possession of weapons, appeared before
investigating magistrate Paraskevi Tsoumaris yesterday morning
but the proceedings were obstructed by a lawyers' work stoppage
in Ioannina.

The seven denied charges against them, saying they were not
members of any illegal organisation acting against state
interests, judicial sources said in Ioannina. " We never
participated and do not participate in any illegal organisation.
The case is in the hands of justice in which we have complete
faith," said a statement read to reporters by the seven's lawyer
Nikolas Gondas.

According to a later ANA despatch from Ioannina, lawyers in the
northern town will continue their work stoppage until the end of
the week. They are demanding the appointment of more judges to
clear a backlog of cases.

Ms Tsoumaris ordered the seven to re-appear this morning but the
town's Bar Association appeared unwilling to allow the lawyers
representing the seven to be present when they testify.

Meanwhile, police in Ioannina are continuing their
investigations in the case. In a related development, reliable
sources said that the Foreign Ministry was conducting an
official administrative inquiry concerning Panagiotis Moulieris,
a member of the Greek embassy staff in Tirana who has been
recalled to Athens.

Mr. Moulieris was reportedly arrested at the weekend in the
Albanian capital for being in possession of leaflets of the
Liberation Front of Northern Epirus (MAVI) to which the seven
armed men allegedly belong.

Government spokesman Evangelos Venizelos implied yesterday that
police were investigating possible links between MAVI and the
National Intelligence Agency (EYP). Mr. Venizelos told reporters
he was not aware of any connections between EYP and MAVI but
said investigations would be exhaustive.

Main opposition New Democracy party spokesman Vassilis Manginas
yesterday said his party " is opposed to any action which could
obstruct the development of Greek-Albanian relations." He was
replying to press criticism that the ND has not taken a position
on the issue.

" ND has taken a position," Mr. Manginas said, adding that " when
ND thinks it has to say more, it will." " Our country's foreign
policy should be conducted by the competent authorities and not
uncontrollable and irresponsible organisations which become
organs of those who wish to harm our national interests,"

Political Spring party spokesman Notis Martakis said yesterday
in relation to the Delvinaki arrests.

A Coalition of the Left and Progress announcement yesterday
attacked the " silence" by ND and Political Spring over the
issue. The party stated its opposition to " efforts to conceal or
restrict the investigation process" and called " for radical
measures to democratise and reorganise the National Intelligence
Agency (EYP) and eliminate all the mechanisms which undermine
the country's official policies."



[9] Farmers continue to block roads, await meeting with Moraitis
----------------------------------------------------------------
Athens, 23/03/1995 (ANA):

Farmers continued to block the Athens-Lamia highway at Livanates
yesterday in defiance of a decision by the local co-ordinating
committee and despite the fact that farmers further south lifted
their roadblock at Thermopyle.

In recent days, farmers have caused widespread disruption to
traffic, particularly in northern and central Greece, protesting
a new tax law and in support of other demands. Tension escalated
Tuesday night and yesterday morning when truck drivers delayed
by the block at Livanates tried to break through a police cordon
to reach the point where farmers have blocked the highway with
tractors and other farm machinery.

Meanwhile, farmers and trades-people in northern Greece
yesterday continued protests for the third consecutive day
mainly against the new tax law but also in support of demands
related to the absorption of farm produce and crop prices. Shops
remained closed in Florina as protesters continued to block the
main road into the town with tractors and cars. Farmers from
Ptolemaida also continued to block the roads to Florina and
Edessa, while farmers in the prefecture of Pella blocked the
Yiannitsa ring-road.

An ANA report from Larissa, central Greece, said later that
about 2,000 trucks had broken through a farmers' blockade of
about 15 tractors on the main Athens-Thessaloniki highway at
Tempe. The truck drivers' success was short-lived, however, as
farmers drove a large number of tractors and other farm
machinery to block the highway at a junction further south at
Sikourio. Riot police remained on stand-by in the area.

A similar situation has arisen at Almyros in the neighbouring
prefecture of Magnesia, where truck drivers trapped by a
farmers' blockade were threatening to break through a line of
tractors. Traffic in the prefecture of Thessaly has come to a
virtual standstill, with all the main junctions of the national
and secondary road network occupied by tractors. Access to
Thessaloniki was only possible via Elassona. Train services,
however, continued to operate, despite a threat by farmers to
block the lines.

Meanwhile, the farmers' co-ordinating committee met yesterday
and decided to continue the mobilisations at least until a
further meeting with Agriculture Minister George Moraitis and
talks with political party leaders. The committee remained
adamant in its opposition to the objective criteria and
reiterated demands for fuel subsidies, citing the example of
other European Union member states.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Mr. Moraitis said that the
nation-wide mobilisations were not an " uprising" by farmers but
actions by " certain other people who are blocking roads with
tractors, demanding that we reject the GATT agreement and
agreements with the European Union" .

Mr. Moraitis said that the aim of the " objective criteria"
contained in the new tax law, which will be used to calculate
the income of non-salaried workers including farmers, was
" mainly to tax non-farmers who exploit about 25 per cent of
arable land" . " The people who have blocked the national highways
are providing very bad services to the government and the
country," he said.

Mr. Moraitis underlined that the objective criteria would not
affect the vast majority of farmers and added that if there were
any injustices in the new system of taxation, they would be
corrected by the Finance Ministry.

Main opposition New Democracy party leader Miltiades Evert urged
the government " to realise the great mistake which it has made,
particularly with regard to the farmers and revise its fiscal
policy" . " Without the modernisation of the agricultural sector,"
Mr. Evert added, " we cannot modernise the economy" .

ND party spokesman Vassilis Manginas later described as
" explosive" the " general uprising against the government's tax
clobbering policy..." Mr. Manginas said the persistence to
proceed with the tax law was the result of efforts " to cover the
huge wastes in the public sector."

Communist Party of Greece (KKE) deputy Spyros Striftaris called
on the government to settle the problems of tobacco and cotton
farmers. Mr. Striftaris accused the government and the mass
media of engaging in efforts to disorient the farmers, adding
that such effort has failed.
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