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A.N.A. Bulletin, 26/01/96

From: "Greek Press & Information Office, Ottawa Canada" <>

Athens News Agency Directory

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 797), January 26, 1996

Greek Press & Information Office

Ottawa, Canada

E-Mail Address:


  • [1] Simitis gets go-ahead to convene Parliamentary Group

  • [2] ND discuss developments

  • [3] Pangalos lunches with EU envoys to Athens

  • [4] Greece signs children's rights treaty

  • [5] Australia invites Simitis to visit

  • [6] European socialist leaders confer on IGC

  • [7] Michaelides, Pangalos to meet today

  • [8] Greek sovereignty over islet 'unquestionable', foreign ministry says

  • [9] Issue 'exaggerated', diplomatic sources say

  • [10] Opposition reaction

  • [11] Kaklamanis: Turkey has long way to go before achieving full democracy, human rights

  • [12] Mirkos, Papantoniou confer on National Bank branches in US

  • [13] Calm returns to Larissa prison after riot

  • [14] Venizelos leads meeting on prison problems

  • [15] Greece extradites Yugoslav fugitive to Belgrade

  • [16] Venizelos: extradition above board

  • [17] Laliotis slams Tsovolas comments

  • [18] Papandreou's health: lung fluid removal successful

  • [19] Anastasios receives honorary doctorate

  • [20] Thessaloniki to host Yugoslav building sector's event

  • [21] Unionists call for protests in February

  • [22] AGROTICA '96 kicks off at month's end

  • [23] Ministers examine OTE share float

  • [24] OA announces discounted flights to Germany

  • [25] Police charge 21-year-old with murder of two prostitutes

  • [1] Simitis gets go-ahead to convene Parliamentary Group

    Athens, 26/01/1996 (ANA)

    Ruling PASOK party president Andreas Papandreou yesterday gave the green light to Prime Minister Costas Simitis to convene the party's Parliamentary Group on February 6.

    As party president, Mr. Papandreou is the only one authorized to convene the parliamentary group. He gave the authorization to former minister of state Antonis Livanis Wednesday night, who in turn conveyed it to Mr. Simitis yesterday. The authorization covers not only the February 6 meeting but enables the premier to convene the Parliamentary Group as many times as he sees fit for as long as Mr. Papandreou is unable to perform his duties as PASOK president due to his prolonged illness.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Simitis met yesterday morning with the Parliamentary Group's presidium and discussed organizational matters.

    The prime minister later met with PASOK Secretary Costas Skandalidis to discuss the framework of co-operation between the party and the government with the aim of facilitating the implementation of the government's policy. Mr. Skandalidis said they agreed that the premier attend Executive Bureau meetings once a month, and possibly more frequently if he deemed it necessary.

    He added that party unity was solid, and that the Executive Bureau would put to good use the wide acceptance enjoyed by the prime minister and the government.

    Interior Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, asked if he believed that certain party members were trying to impose their terms on Mr. Simitis, said that such thoughts had no relation to reality.

    He added that there was no issue regarding-the prime minister's competence to convene the party's Parliamentary Group.

    [2] ND discuss developments

    Athens, 26/01/1996 (ANA)

    At a morning party meeting yesterday, opposition leader Miltiades Evert and his aides discussed the latest developments in the ruling party, and the tactics New Democracy will follow during Parliament's debate of the government's policy statement.

    According to sources, the view was expressed that the "state of confusion" in the government continued, with "ministers clashing between themselves and with the party". Close aides to Mr. Evert said New Democracy was not interested in PASOK's internal affairs, but found that the country could not be governed under present conditions and no solutions could be provided to the problems faced by the Greek people.

    [3] Pangalos lunches with EU envoys to Athens

    Athens, 26/01/1996 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos held a formal lunch yesterday for the ambassadors of European Community member states accredited to Athens, on the occasion of the assumption of his duties.

    [4] Greece signs children's rights treaty

    Strasbourg, 26/01/1996 (ANA)

    Greece became one of the first countries to sign the new European treaty on children's rights yesterday along with Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg and Sweden.

    The treaty includes a series of legal measures that will allow children to exercise their rights. It also foresees the creation of a permanent committee to examine matters arising from the agreement. The treaty will facilitate the implementation of the United Nations charter on children's rights.

    [5] Australia invites Simitis to visit

    Melbourne, 26/01/1996 (ANA - S. Hatzimanolis)

    Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating has invited his Greek counterpart Costas Simitis to pay an official visit to Australia.

    Mr. Keating made the disclosure himself yesterday, adding that he had addressed a message of congratulations to Mr. Simitis on his election.

    "Greece and the 300,000 Australians either born in Greece or of Greek origin have played an important role in shaping the present Australian nation. They constitute an integral part of our society," the message said.

    "These strong ties between our peoples provide strong foundations for supporting and developing relations between our governments. However, I believe there is still much we can do, using our human ties, and I look forward to co-operation between us to achieve this target," it added.

    The Greek community in Melbourne, one of the largest in the world, has also invited Mr. Simitis to visit Australia next year to celebrate the centenary of its presence.

    [6] European socialist leaders confer on IGC

    Vienna, 26/01/1996 (ANA - D. Dimitrakoudis)

    Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos is in Vienna today, representing Prime Minister Costas Simitis at the meeting of European socialist leaders which began last night and will conclude on Saturday.

    The main aim of the meeting is the preparation of the European Socialist Party meeting scheduled to take place on March 9 in Venice, as well as that of the EU intergovernmental conference (IGC), due to begin in Turin on March 29.

    The meeting is also being attended by Poul Rasmussen, the Danish prime minister, Premier Gro Harlem Bruntland of Norway and Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres, as well as the leader of the German Social Democrats (SPD), Rudolf Scharping.

    In an announcement made before the meeting officially began, Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitsky stressed the importance of the fight against unemployment on a European level. He stated the EU must not only aim for monetary union, but also for an employment and social union.

    [7] Michaelides, Pangalos to meet today

    Athens, 26/01/1996 (ANA)

    Cyprus Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides will address the Panhellenic Conference of the Federation of Cypriot Organizations of Greece (OKOE) in Patra today.

    His address on the subject of "Cyprus in the United Europe" is expected to be of particular interest, given the latest developments and prospects for the Cyprus problem.

    Mr. Michaelides will have talks in Athens with his Greek counterpart Theodore Pangalos after addressing the event in Patra.

    [8] Greek sovereignty over islet 'unquestionable', foreign ministry says

    Athens, 26/01/1996 (ANA)

    Greek sovereignty over the islet of Imia, established by the Paris Agreement of 1947, cannot be called into question, foreign ministry spokesman Costas Bikas said yesterday.

    The spokesman was commenting on press reports claiming that Turkey was laying claim to the Greek islet in the Aegean sea, north east of the island of Kalymnos close to the Turkish coast.

    Mr. Bikas referred to a recent incident which took place on December 26 last year, when a Turkish freighter went aground on one of the islets of the Imia group.

    He said that the Turkish captain had refused assistance from the Greek authorities, claiming that he was on Turkish territory.

    The foreign ministry contacted the Greek embassy in Ankara, he added, concerning the "misapprehension" of the Turkish captain.

    Mr. Bikas said that, following contacts between the merchant marine ministry and the Turkish company which owns the freighter, the vessel was dragged free of the islet on December 28 with the help of a Greek tug boat, "which proves Greek sovereignty at the place in question" and was towed to a Turkish port.

    On December 29, the spokesman continued, and on the occasion of a demarche lodged by the Greek embassy in Ankara over Turkish violations of Greek air space over Hios, the Turkish side sent a verbal note claiming that Imia was under Turkish sovereignty.

    "The Greek side, considering that a sovereign right was being questioned, counter-replied on January 10 with a verbal note to the Turkish foreign ministry, setting out Greece's positions on the issue," he said.

    "There is a 1932 agreement between Turkey and Italy," Mr. Bikas underlined, "settling the issue of the two countries' sovereignty between the coasts of Anatolia (Turkey) and the Dodecaneese group which then belonged to Italy.

    "By virtue of the agreement signed on January 4, 1932, the dividing line of the Turkish sea was drawn between Kastellorizo and the coast of Asia Minor and letters were exchanged agreeing to the formation of a joint committee for the demarcation of the remaining borders.

    "In implementation of this agreement, a further agreement was signed in Ankara on December 28, 1932 by representatives of Italy and Turkey, delineating the remaining border line. Article 30 of this agreement clearly states that the Italian-Turkish border passes through the Imia group of islets which belonged to Italy, and the rocky islet of Kato, which belongs to Turkey.

    "By virtue of these agreements and the Paris Peace Agreement of 1947, Greece became Italy's successor with respect to the Dodecaneese," Mr. Bikas said.

    Commenting on the same issue, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said that Greece had lodged the verbal note with Ankara on January 10 because Athens considered that Turkey was questioning its national sovereign rights.

    "Turkey has since not pursued the matter," Mr. Reppas added.

    [9] Issue 'exaggerated', diplomatic sources say

    Istanbul, 26/01/1996 (ANA- A. Kourkoulas)

    Diplomatic sources yesterday described as "inexplicable" and "exaggerated" the dimensions given to the "current" diplomatic activity and exchanges.

    Following the assistance given to the Turkish vessel by the Greek authorities, the Turkish foreign ministry conveyed through the Greek embassy in Ankara 15 days ago its permanent positions regarding the delineation of territorial waters in the Dodecaneese e region, according to which the islet falls within the administrative limits of the Turkish province of Mugla.

    That demarche was described as "low-level" and "current," and was not even announced. Turkey learned of the "islet issue" through laconic dispatches about the reports in the Athenian press.

    [10] Opposition reaction

    Athens, 26/01/1996 (ANA)

    During a morning meeting of New Democracy party leader Miltiades Evert and his aides, the view was expressed that "the arbitrary Turkish claim was raised during a period of total lack of government, with Andreas Papandreou unable to react. Nobody knows what other unpleasant situations have been created and nobody assumes the responsibility to inform the Greek people on what measures the government will take to safeguard the country's interests".

    Political Spring party Eurodeputy Katerina Daskalaki yesterday raised "the issue of the new Turkish provocations with the claim on the Greek islet and the suspect Turkish 'warnings' concerning Thrace," during the European Parliament External Affairs Committee's discussion of Turkey's stand following the signing of the customs union agreement with the EU.

    [11] Kaklamanis: Turkey has long way to go before achieving full democracy, human rights

    Athens, 26/01/1996 (ANA)

    Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis said yesterday that the recently published photographs of Turkish soldiers holding the decapitated heads of Kurdish guerrillas "show in the clearest possible way that the road to democratization and the improvement of human rights in that country is still a long one". In statements to the German-based DEM news agency, Mr. Kaklamanis said that "with amazement and abhorrence, international public opinion once again witnesses the 'humanitarian performance' and 'deeds of valor' of Turkey, which hopes to become a member of the European Union and which contradict all concepts of the protection of human rights and respect for international law".

    "The continuous reports of torture, the curtailing of the operation and freedom of the press, the executions without trial, the torching and forced evacuation of villages, the threats against foreign news media and even Eurodeputies, and the recent prohibition imposed on the former deputy Leyla Zana preventing her from accepting the Saharov prize, cause painful associations and raise questions as to that country's true intentions with respect to democratization".

    Mr. Kaklamanis said that the international community must at long last consider its responsibilities and contribute actively and sincerely to the implementation of international law and respect for human rights in Turkey.

    [12] Mirkos, Papantoniou confer on National Bank branches in US

    Athens, 26/01/1996 (ANA)

    National Bank of Greece Governor George Mirkos informed National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou yesterday on matters concerning the National Bank's bran-ches operations in Boston and the formalities of procedures followed to attract deposits.

    Initiatives have been taken since last summer in order to resolve the issue.

    A request has been submitted to the regional banking authorities for the Atlantic Bank to take control of the National Bank's branches in the US to facilitate regulation by the US authorities and adapt their operation to that required by the US banking system. The request has not yet been approved by the US authorities.

    [13] Calm returns to Larissa prison after riot

    Athens, 26/01/1996 (ANA)

    An 18-hour prison uprising at the Larissa prison ended yesterday afternoon after inmates agreed to return to their cells.

    Six prisoners were injured in the disturbance and widespread damage to the facility was reported.

    An agreement between rioting inmates and authorities was reached at around 2pm yesterday shortly after a phone conversation between Justice Minister Evangelos Venizelos and a representative of the inmates.

    Inmates submitted several demands during the siege, including one that life sentences be transformed into 18-year terms.

    According to authorities, inmates' demands were not subject to negotiations for an end to the uprising.

    Prison officials said the riot was a diversionary tactic as part of an attempt at a mass breakout.

    The riot began shortly before the afternoon recreation break came to an end on Wednesday when approximately 170 inmates, mostly Albanian, attempted to scale the facility's five-meter-high walls. The escape was thwarted when guards manning the prison's watchtowers fired warning shots at the inmates.

    [14] Venizelos leads meeting on prison problems

    Athens, 26/01/1996 (ANA)

    Justice Minister Evangelos Venizelos chaired a meeting of prison wardens and government officials yesterday, focusing on problems and conditions prevailing in prisons.

    Mr. Venizelos said the situation prevailing in correction facilities was "wretched" despite efforts being made.

    "We made an account of the situation and we are aware which the open fronts are to take specific and workable measures which are interventions of an institutional nature and, secondly, living conditions and prison overcrowding," Mr. Venizelos said.

    He announced the creation of a committee to speedily assess proposals concerning judicial institutions, while terming claims by Larissa prison inmates "logical and substantiated."

    Mr. Venizelos said a preliminary investigation was underway on conditions leading to riots in the Larissa prison and the wounding of inmates.

    Referring to the question of foreign prisoners, and Albanians in particular, Mr. Venizelos said agreements existed but their implementation in practice depended on the inmate's consent.

    In a report to the justice ministry before the riots had broken out, Larissa prison warden Costas Tsourelis had warned that the situation in the prison was at a danger point because dangerous inmates had gathered there.

    [15] Greece extradites Yugoslav fugitive to Belgrade

    Belgrade, 26/01/1996 (ANA - M. Mouratidis)

    A Yugoslav businessman accused by Belgian authorities of killing an Albanian-descent political activist from Kosovo, was transported to a Belgrade prison yesterday after being extradited from Athens on Wednesday.

    Darko Asanin was arrested on Rhodes last year on an Interpol warrant for the 1990 murder of Enver Handri in Belgium. Handri was the president of a committee for the human rights of Albanians in Kosovo.

    According to a report in Belgrade's "Politika" newspaper, a local prosecutor requested a 30-day incarceration for Mr. Asanin, while ordering an investigation of the Belgian charge.

    The Asanin case has political dimension in Yugoslavia, as Mr. Handri was a prominent member of Belgium's Albanian community, while his brother is wanted in Yugoslavia for terrorist attacks on security forces in Kosovo.

    Mr. Asanin's attorneys claimed their client's extradition to Belgium would have put his life in danger.

    [16] Venizelos: extradition above board

    Athens, 26/01/1996 (ANA)

    In response to criticism by the Belgian Ambassador to Athens concerning Mr. Asanin's extradition to Yugoslavia instead of Belgium, Justice Minister Evangelos Venizelos said the decision was taken by his predecessor Ioannis Pottakis and that it was completely covered from a legal standpoint.

    Mr. Venizelos cited Greece's criminal code and a Greek-Belgian extradition treaty, which states that the nation where the arrest took place can extradite a wanted suspect to either one of two countries vying for his custody, adding that both the alleged victim and perpetrator in this case are from Yugoslavia.

    In addition, Mr. Venizelos said the issue was not the subject of a late-night meeting Tuesday evening between Premier Costas Simitis, Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and Public Order Minister Costas Gitonas.

    Concerning rumors that Mr. Asanin provided information about terrorism in Greece, the justice minister said he asked that question of the public order minister, who told him that the Yugoslav national was not questioned because he was not being held for crimes committed in Greece.

    [17] Laliotis slams Tsovolas comments

    Athens, 26/01/1996 (ANA)

    Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis yesterday accused Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas of attempting to taint politics and politicians, after the latter alleged that certain ministers remaining in the new government were at the beck and call of business interests.

    Mr. Laliotis said his presence at the public works ministry could be assessed by the work being done and a positive account being made.

    He did not deny there was continuous conflict and confrontation with those having specific interests in major projects, but added that no one had questioned his integrity and credibility and the transparent management of funds for these projects, which amounted to 4.3 trillion drachmas.

    Mr. Laliotis said legality was being honored absolutely and the file of every project was open to all interested. He called on Mr. Tsovolas (a former member of the ruling socialist PASOK party) to be fair with his old comrades and not mortgage certain values for the sake of party interests.

    [18] Papandreou's health: lung fluid removal successful

    Athens, 26/01/1996 (ANA)

    A medical bulletin issued yesterday by the Onassion Hospital said that the condition of ruling PASOK party leader Andreas Papandreou remained stable and that efforts on Wednesday to remove pleuretic fluid from the right side of the patient's chest had bee n successful.

    The bulletin added the periodic use of a respirator and kidney machine was continuing.

    Mr. Papandreou received no visitors yesterday morning, following the recommendation of his physicians that the number of visits should be reduced.

    In private conversations with reporters, Mr. Papandreou's doctors said that if the former premier continued to improve without complications, he would be able to leave the hospital after the first ten days of February.

    Doctors consider that a re-accumulation of fluid was not likely, and this will significantly aid the patient's respiratory function. It is thought that if all goes well, Mr. Papandreou will be able to breathe without mechanical assistance in about a week or ten days' time.

    [19] Anastasios receives honorary doctorate

    Athens, 26/01/1996 (ANA)

    The Orthodox Archbishop of Tirana and All Albania Anastasios was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Agricultural University of Athens yesterday.

    Vice-rector A. Sideridis spoke of the Archbishop's work and personality, and the Archbishop expressed his satisfaction at the honor bestowed upon him. He also made a speech on the subject of "people and nature in great religions".

    [20] Thessaloniki to host Yugoslav building sector's event

    Belgrade, 26/01/1996 (ANA - M. Mouratidis)

    Construction firms from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia are to take part in a three-day event in Thessaloniki beginning February 7, with the aim of forging closer ties with the Greek building sector.

    The programme was presented yesterday in Belgrade during a press conference.

    Named "Days of Yugoslav economic activities in Thessaloniki", the event will present the track record of Yugoslav construction companies.

    The Yugoslav companies have shown interest in participating in major EU-funded projects in Greece, as well as in infrastructure projects in Thessaloniki which will prepare the city for its assumption of the European Cultural Capital title next year.

    During the press conference, it was stressed that there is a strong interest on the Greek side for co-operation, particularly in reconstructing in Bosnia, as well as in promoting Greek construction work in third countries such as Russia, where Yugoslav companies already have a strong showing.

    The event in Thessaloniki is taking place in co-operation with the ministry of public works in Serbia, and the Yugoslav, Serbian and Montenegrin chambers of commerce. The large projects to be presented by the Yugoslav companies in Thessaloniki are the Belgrade underground railway, Belgrade's Ayios Savvas church, still currently under construction and expected to be the largest church in Europe, the sports centre, also still under construction, and the international shopping centre Yugoslav companies have built in Moscow.

    [21] Unionists call for protests in February

    Athens, 26/01/1996 (ANA)

    The Athens Labor Centre (EKA) has called a February 1 demonstration to demand higher salaries and a better collective bargaining agreement.

    EKA also decided on a three-hour stoppage next Thursday, in addition to proposing two 24-hour general strikes in February. It also called for a labor organizations meeting next Wednesday.

    A noteworthy development is the fact that EKA's board decided on the mobilization with only labor factions belonging to the opposition: DAKE (affiliated with main opposition New Democracy), ESAK (affiliated with the Communist Party of Greece) and Aftonomi Paremvasi (affiliated with the Coalition of the Left and Progress).

    Opposition labor groupings are attempting the action without the support of PASKE, which is affiliated with the ruling PASOK party.

    [22] AGROTICA '96 kicks off at month's end

    Athens, 26/01/1996 (ANA)

    Helexpo's 1996 season kicks off at the end of the month in Thessaloniki with the 12th AGROTICA, its biggest sector exhibition. The exhibition will run through February 4.

    The dimensions of this year's exhibition will be impressive once again since more than 1,000 exhibitors from Greece and 34 other countries will participate.

    There will be six state participating, compared to three last year, while all the organizations, agencies and services involved in the first-stage sector will be present.

    The Italian Chamber of Commerce, the French Chamber of Commerce, Bulgaria's international exhibition from Plovdiv, the Russian state commercial organization, the Yugoslav Agriculture Ministry, the European Union's bureau and many direct exhibitors from Cyprus, Denmark, France, Israel, Finland, Spain and Britain will also participate in the 12th AGROTICA.

    [23] Ministers examine OTE share float

    Athens, 26/01/1996 (ANA)

    The government's plans to float part of Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) shares on the Athens Stock Exchange was examined at a meeting at the national economy ministry yesterday.

    "In light of the government's policy statement, a meeting was held between (finance minister Alekos) Papadopoulos and (transport and communications minister Haris) Kastanidis, with the participation of OTE General Director Mr. Lambrou, on the issue of promoting OTE's processes," National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said after the meeting.

    He said the economic and stock exchange climate for the sale of a small percentage of shares through an increase in share capital appeared to be very positive.

    [24] OA announces discounted flights to Germany

    Athens, 26/01/1996 (ANA)

    Greece's national carrier Olympic Airways (OA) yesterday announced discounted air fares, with reductions of up to 50 per cent, on flights to Germany between now and March 31.

    The reduced fares, which were decided on January 19, are for flights from Athens and Thessaloniki to Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Stuttgart and Munich.

    The only condition set by OA is that passengers taking advantage of the reduced fares must stay in Germany for at least one weekend and no longer than one month.

    Further reductions on the cheaper fares are available for infants up to the age of two (90 per cent), children between the ages of 2 and 12 (50 per cent) and young people between the ages of 12 and 22 (25 per cent).

    [25] Police charge 21-year-old with murder of two prostitutes

    Athens, 26/01/1996 (ANA)

    Police revealed yesterday that a 21-year-old Athens man had confessed to the strangulation of two prostitutes and the attempted murder of another eight.

    Antonis Daglis was charged with the murder and mutilation of Eleni Panagiotopoulou, 29, and Athina Lazarou, 26.

    Daglis told police he picked up Panagiotopoulou last October 28 from downtown Solonos street, near the Kolonaki district in Athens. They subsequently drove to a parking lot, where he said he strangled the prostitute with his hands as they had sex.

    Daglis said he later dismembered the body with a hacksaw and collected the body parts into several plastic bags, which he dumped near a camping site on the Athens-Lamia national highway.

    The victim's remains were identified a few days later by relatives.

    Daglis said he strangled his second victim, Lazarou, with a rope because she mocked him during their love-making session. Her half-naked body was discovered on Christmas Day last year in a deserted area near Kifissos Avenue, in western Athens.

    Authorities have identified the other eight women Daglis reportedly attempted to kill.

    According to police files, Daglis was arrested in 1988 for seducing a minor, while in 1989 he was arrested for attacking a group of men in Zappeion with a knife. Authorities are also investigating whether Daglis is behind the murder of another young woman, whose dismembered body was found in a garbage bucket outside the War Museum in October 1992.

    Daglis has been in and out of the criminal courts since he was 14.

    End of English language section.

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