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A.N.A. Bulletin, 09/02/96

From: "Greek Press & Information Office, Ottawa Canada" <grnewsca@sympatico.ca>

Athens News Agency Directory

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 809), February 9, 1996

Greek Press & Information Office

Ottawa, Canada

E-Mail Address: grnewsca@sympatico.ca


CONTENTS

  • [1] Greece, Cyprus agree on 'close co-operation' in 'fruitful Athens talks'

  • [2] Pangalos, Michaelides meet

  • [3] Kaklamanis to visit Cyprus

  • [4] Chief of Staff Lymberis replaced

  • [5] Pangalos welcomes Commission's stance on Aegean incident

  • [6] Europarliament groups table resolutions condemning Turkey

  • [7] Italy advises Greece,Turkey to exercise 'moderation'

  • [8] Holbrooke criticizes 'European apathy' over Imia crisis

  • [9] Greek-Americans call for US to recognize Greek islets

  • [10] ND reactions to Mitsotakis criticism on party tactics

  • [11] Commission statement of solidarity a basis to build on, Samaras says

  • [12] Yannopoulos meets with Niles

  • [13] Papandreou fully supports Gov't, Reppas says

  • [14] PASOK Central Committee meeting this weekend

  • [15] Premier briefs Papariga

  • [16] Papandreou's condition improved

  • [17] Archaeologists discover ancient Macedonians' Temple of Zeus

  • [18] World religions take the stage at Davos

  • [19] Helicopter pilot buried with full honors

  • [20] Posthumous decorations

  • [21] Parliament approves shorter deadline for naming shareholders


  • [1] Greece, Cyprus agree on 'close co-operation' in 'fruitful Athens talks'

    Athens, 09/02/1996 (ANA)

    Greece and Cyprus agreed yesterday that the two countries should continue close contact to confront potential threats, in talks in Athens yesterday between Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides.

    Calling his first meeting with the Greek premier "sincere, constructive and fruitful", Mr. Clerides said the wish of both sides to continue close co-operation was ascertained during the talks.

    Both sides pointed out that moves on the Cyprus issue could not produce results unless there was coordination.

    In this spirit, Mr. Simitis and Mr. Clerides instructed the foreign ministries of the two countries to continue their close co-operation.

    Mr. Simitis and Mr. Clerides said they both agreed on how to bring about a permanent and just solution to the Cyprus problem and that the joint defense doctrine between Greece and Cyprus was important for the future of both states.

    Mr. Simitis said the doctrine, "although in need of continuous additions and constant review of certain points, constitutes the dominant feature in the course of the two states."

    Mr. Clerides said the doctrine had been accepted by all Cypriot political parties, with only the communist party AKEL expressing reservations.

    Asked whether Cyprus intended to resume dialogue to reach settlement on the Cyprus problem, Mr. Clerides said there was a US initiative in the making and also referred to the European initiative, expected to begin in the near future, and the good offices mission of UN Chief Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

    Mr. Simitis said he accepted the initiatives because there should be progress for a solution to the Cyprus issue.

    He said that what was important was the content of initiatives -what it proposed and if this led to a lasting and viable solution. He added that there would always be understanding and mutual agreement between Athens and Nicosia on the handling, whatever may be proposed.

    "Athens and Nicosia together have set the security framework for the Cypriot people within which all deliberations on the Cyprus problem will take place, independently of initiatives," Mr. Clerides added.

    Mr. Simitis stressed the importance of vigilance and contacts with all other countries following the recent Turkish provocations in the Aegean.

    "A diplomatic campaign has already began, the results of which are already visible," Mr. Simitis said, adding that his meeting with Mr. Clerides was held to review the course of the Cyprus problem and coordinate action.

    "Recent developments have impressed on us that there should be close contact in order to confront potential threats," Mr. Simitis said. "There should be a joint policy for the defense of the sovereign rights."

    Replying to questioners, Mr. Clerides reiterated that during the crucial period concerning the Turks' provocative incident on an islet of the Imia complex, the Turkish forces in Cyprus made no threatening move.

    He said these forces remained in their barracks with the exception of a move made by about 15 tanks which approached the confrontation line.

    "But there was no significant movement of forces," Mr. Clerides said.

    Mr. Clerides also met with President Kostis Stephanopoulos and main opposition leader Miltiades Evert yesterday.

    Following his meeting with the Cypriot leader, Mr. Evert reiterated Greece's support for Cyprus saying that "the Greeks are here to defend its rights."

    Today, Mr. Clerides is due to have meetings with Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis, ND honorary president Constantine Mitsotakis, Communist Party of Greece Secretary-General Aleka Papariga and Coalition of the Left and Progress leader Nikos Constantopoulos.

    [2] Pangalos, Michaelides meet

    Athens, 09/02/1996 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos had one hour of talks yesterday with his Cypriot counterpart Alecos Michaelides on the latest initiatives aimed at a settlement of the Cyprus problem and the issue of the island republic's accession to the European Union.

    After the meeting, Mr. Michaelides expressed satisfaction at the Greek government's continuous support for Cyprus' efforts to join the EU, adding that it had been decided to intensify co-ordination between Nicosia and Athens on the matter.

    Mr. Pangalos underlined "the strong European interest manifested recently in the Cyprus problem", stressing also that "if Europe was even more interested we would indeed be happy".

    Commenting on the US initiative on the Cyprus problem following the cancellation of US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke's visit to the region, Mr. Pangalos said that "Greece is willing to have talks with the US provided they address themselves to us, but this initiative chiefly concerns the Cyprus government which is the immediate interlocutor".

    [3] Kaklamanis to visit Cyprus

    Nicosia, 09/02/1996 (ANA)

    Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis will officially visit Cyprus on February 15 for three days, following an invitation by the Speaker of the Cypriot House of Representatives Alexis Galanos. Mr. Kaklamanis will also meet President Glafcos Clerides, party leaders and Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos.

    His schedule includes a visit to the Greek army contingent in Cyprus (ELDYK).

    [4] Chief of Staff Lymberis replaced

    Athens, 09/02/1996 (ANA)

    The Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defense (KYSEA) late last night decided on the replacement of the Chief of Staff Adm. Christos Lymberis, following the armed forces chief's earlier refusal to resign.

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis had called for Adm. Lymberis' resignation during an urgent joint meeting of the KYSEA and the inner cabinet. The replacement will be finalized on February 18 when promotions of high-ranking military officials are made.

    Mr. Simitis said the decision was unanimous.

    National Defense Minister Gerassimos Arsenis said he agreed with the KYSEA decision, however, he added it was unfair for politicians to blame Adm. Lymberis and the armed forces over last week's Imia crisis in the eastern Aegean.

    Adm. Lymberis declined to make any statement after the meeting.

    In addition, members of KYSEA expressed their confidence in the high morale and fighting spirit of the armed forces, while they also thanked Adm. Lymberis for his services.

    Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said the decision was a collective one, adding that no issue was discussed concerning National Intelligence Service (EYP) Director Leonidas Basilikopoulos.

    [5] Pangalos welcomes Commission's stance on Aegean incident

    Athens, 09/02/1996 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos expressed his satisfaction yesterday at Wednesday's statement by the European Commission supporting Greece in its recent stand-off with Turkey over the islet of Imia in the Aegean, saying it was the first time that the Commission had taken such a clear stance on such an issue.

    Speaking to reporters after his talks with Cyprus Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides, Mr. Pangalos noted that there had also been "encouraging indications" on the part of certain EU member-states, adding that Greece would try to secure "some positive response" also from other members of the Community.

    On the US proposal to refer the issue of the Aegean islets to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, Mr. Pangalos described as "particularly positive" the reference made by the White House spokesman to international law and international agreements.

    With regard to the substance of the issue, Mr. Pangalos said, Greece would not be the one "to precipitate" the matter but if Turkey had recourse to The Hague "we are ready to deal with it".

    Commenting on recent statements by Turkish caretaker premier Tansu Ciller, Mr. Pangalos said: "It would appear that the Turkish prime minister delved into her subconscious and discovered that the rocky islets belong to Turkey. This stance is not politic al but rather the subject of psychiatric analysis".

    [6] Europarliament groups table resolutions condemning Turkey

    Brussels, 09/02/1996 (ANA - M. Savva)

    The European Socialist Group, the European Peoples' Party and the Union for Europe group are all to submit resolutions of condemnation of Turkey to the European Parliament plenary.

    All three resolutions refer to provocations by Turkish forces against a member-state of the European Union. They also note Turkey's territorial claims and disputes of the sovereignty of the member-state.

    The Socialist Group's resolution stresses that Turkey questions the general sovereignty of the Aegean and Greece's territorial rights, and is formally contesting Greek territory and threatening the use of violence.

    The resolution of the European Peoples' Party notes that Greek borders also constitute the European Union's borders. It also notes the agreements made between the EU and third countries are governed by the principle of respect for international law, and speaks of Turkey's commitment, made during the Euro-Mediterranean Conference in Barcelona last year, to respect each member-state's territorial integrity.

    The Union for Europe's resolution condemns Turkey's breaching of international law and calls for immediate respect for international treaties.

    All three political groups call on the Council of Ministers to re-examine its position regarding the granting of financial assistance to Turkey, demand Turkey's immediate compliance with international treaties and calls on the Europarliament president t o explain this climate to the Council, the Commission and the Turkish government.

    [7] Italy advises Greece,Turkey to exercise 'moderation'

    Rome, 09/02/1996 (AFP/ANA)

    Italy advised Greece and Turkey to "exercise moderation" in the conflict between the two countries over an islet in the Aegean, the Italian foreign ministry said yesterday.

    Italy, EU president since January, "expressed the belief that a solution to the Greek-Turkish conflict could be found on a judicial level, through recourse to a tribunal such as the Permanent Arbitration Court or the International Court of Justice," said an Italian foreign ministry announcement.

    The announcement added that on Wednesday night, Foreign Minister Susanna Agnelli had a "long and cordial telephone conversation with Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos." It also stated Italy aims to bring relations between Greece and Turkey "back to normal" and advises the two sides to "avoid all declarations or actions that could lead to an aggravation of the situation."

    The ambassadors of the two countries visited the Italian foreign ministry last night for consultations on the problem.

    [8] Holbrooke criticizes 'European apathy' over Imia crisis

    Washington, 09/02/1996 (AFP/ANA)

    Assistant US Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke charged yesterday that European governments took an apathetic position last week over the Greek-Turkish crisis in the Aegean. "During the time President (Bill) Clinton talked on the phone with Athens and Ankara the Europeans were literally sleeping," the outgoing assistant secretary for European affairs and Canada said in an interview published in yesterday's Washington Post.

    Mr. Holbrooke, who is due to leave his post for a prominent Wall Street position at the end of the month, charged that European governments displayed apathy during the Imia crisis, adding that "they learned nothing from Bosnia."

    "One asks why Europe is unable to take a decision on its own territory. When the United States is not ready to throw its entire political and military weight to find a solution to European instability, nothing happens," he said.

    [9] Greek-Americans call for US to recognize Greek islets

    Chicago, 09/02/1996 (ANA)

    In a letter to the Council of Expatriate Greeks of North and South America, council president Christos Tomaras called on the White House, the State Department and the Congress to immediately recognize the Greek sovereignty of the Aegean islets.

    Mr. Tomaras also called for the support of the members of expatriate Greek community and coordination of efforts for a "more effective outcome of each similar campaign".

    [10] ND reactions to Mitsotakis criticism on party tactics

    Athens, 09/02/1996 (ANA)

    Deputies and cadres of the main opposition New Democracy party reacted calmly to an interview former prime minister and ND honorary leader Constantine Mitsotakis gave to the Mega TV network on Wednesday, in which he distanced himself from party choices an d tactics during the recent Greek-Turkish crisis.

    ND leader Miltiades Evert declined any comment on the issue when asked, and his close associates assured reporters that the issue was not discussed at a morning meeting.

    In his TV interview, Mr. Mitsotakis disagreed with Mr. Evert's decision to walk out of Parliament during discussion of the crisis, saying that in the past all the party's leaders had exercised responsible policy without having internal party interests a s a criterion.

    Mr. Mitsotakis compared the refusal of dialogue with Turkey with the withdrawal from Parliament, saying that this position "suits people who are afraid, who have no arguments and have no confidence in themselves."

    Although saying he was not looking for those responsible, Mr. Mitsotakis said (prime minister) Mr. Simitis was new, inexperienced and lacked knowledge of foreign policy.

    "The national defense ministry involved itself a great deal, while the foreign ministry did so less than it should have," Mr. Mitsotakis said. "PASOK's Executive Bureau cannot make foreign policy. The party has no place in government moves."

    ND deputy Angelos Bratakos said "the former prime minister has the right to express his views because he is a supra-party personality, but policy is set out by the party's agencies and is implemented by the president."

    Deputy Sotiris Hatzigakis said he endorsed certain positions set out by Mr. Mitsotakis which, he said, "look ahead and contribute to political dialogue and political reflection."

    George Kalatzis disagreed with the time Mr. Mitsotakis chose to give the interview, saying "it was a time he chose. I would not have done it."

    George Karatzaferis said that if Mr. Mitsotakis and his government were in practice as good as (he presented it) on Wednesday, ND would still be in power.

    [11] Commission statement of solidarity a basis to build on, Samaras says

    Athens, 09/02/1996 (ANA)

    Commenting on Wednesday's European Commission statement expressing solidarity with Greece over the recent Greek-Turkish crisis, Political Spring party leader Antonis Samaras said in Komotini, Thrace, yesterday, that "it is only the foundation upon which t he next summit meeting must build the final and irrevocable decision by Europe that our borders are also its own". He found that the army in Thrace was ready for any eventuality and had high morale.

    "Thrace now demands from the country's political forces development, not austerity, and that the promises given by the various governments are kept," he added. He also said that if the joint defense doctrine for Greece and Cyprus was to have credibility , there had to be a coordination of moves concerning Cyprus' European orientation.

    [12] Yannopoulos meets with Niles

    Athens, 09/02/1996 (ANA)

    Labor and Social Security Minister Evangelos Yannopoulos yesterday briefed US Ambassador Thomas Niles on the government's positions on Cyprus, the Aegean and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) during an informal visit by the envoy.

    Mr. Yannopoulos said after the meeting that Mr. Niles had assured him that the United States was doing everything it could for Greece and for the consolidation of peace in the region. Mr. Niles made no statements.

    [13] Papandreou fully supports Gov't, Reppas says

    Athens, 09/02/1996 (ANA)

    PASOK party leader and former prime minister Andreas Papandreou expressed his full support for government actions during a meeting he had with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas announced yesterday.

    Mr. Reppas added that Mr. Papandreou was briefed by the prime minister on domestic and foreign developments. The government spokesman also said that the two men agreed to continue the co-operation and communication between them.

    [14] PASOK Central Committee meeting this weekend

    Athens, 09/02/1996 (ANA)

    The ruling socialist PASOK party's sixth Central Committee meeting will be held at the Caravel Hotel tomorrow and Sunday.

    Sessions will start at 11am on the first day.

    PASOK deputies Dimitris Vounatsos and Christos Kipouros, representing the border regions of Lesvos and Evros respectively, have been summoned to appear before the party's disciplinary committee on Wednesday, to account for their abstention during Parliament's confidence vote for the new government.

    [15] Premier briefs Papariga

    Athens, 09/02/1996 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday briefed Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary-General Aleka Papariga on Greek-Turkish relations following the recent crisis in the Aegean.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Ms Papariga said that the recent developments constituted an element of "the new order of things" in the region. She expressed the KKE's dissatisfaction over last night's statement by the European Commission in support of Greece, saying that the EU's position on Greece's borders and sovereign rights was not "reliable".

    Speaking on the US proposal to refer the issue of the rocky islets in the Aegean to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, Ms Papariga said it was not positive, since "it would mean that we would be negotiating the status quo in the Aegean".

    [16] Papandreou's condition improved

    Athens, 09/02/1996 (ANA)

    A medical bulletin issued by the Onassion Cardiology Centre yesterday spoke of an improvement in the health of ruling PASOK party leader Andreas Papandreou.

    The former premier's temperature is normal and he continues to breathe without the aid of a respirator. Mr. Papandreou underwent dialysis yesterday and walked for some time in the corridor outside his room. His doctors hope that early next week they will be able to finally close the tracheotomy which at present remains temporarily closed by the placement of a special valve.

    [17] Archaeologists discover ancient Macedonians' Temple of Zeus

    Athens, 09/02/1996 (ANA)

    One of the most important monuments of the ancient Macedonians, the Temple of Zeus, has been discovered by archaeologists at Dion, Pierias, the religious centre of ancient Macedonia.

    The recent discovery was announced yesterday at the annual archaeological meeting of Macedonia-Thrace in this northern Greek port city by Professor of Archaeology at Thessaloniki University, Dimitris Pantermalis, who has been directing excavations at Di on for the past 20 years.

    "It was the most important place of worship of the ancient Macedonians, where Alexander the Great offered a sacrifice before setting out on his Asian campaign," said Prof. Pantermalis, who believes that the temple is the most important discovery at Dion to date.

    [18] World religions take the stage at Davos

    Davos, Switzerland 09/02/1996 (ANA)

    This year's World Economic Forum in Davos ended with the participation of representatives from the world's major religions - Christianity, Islam and Judaism - at the closing assembly of delegates.

    Orthodox Metropolitan of Switzerland Damaskinos attended the conference as Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos' representative.

    Discussion at the forum revolved around the view that an economy and progress are not conceivable without the faithful, who are also economic and political decision-makers on a personal, political or other organized societal level.

    The need for a rapprochement for social groups of various faiths was touched upon by the Orthodox delegates at the conference, who also noted Damaskinos' contribution through academic discussions between Christians and Moslems, Christians and Jews.

    Damaskinos began his meetings in a joint initiative with Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan and the Jordanian Academy, even before the war in Bosnia erupted.

    [19] Helicopter pilot buried with full honors

    Athens, 09/02/1996 (ANA)

    One of three Hellenic Navy officers killed when their helicopter crashed in the eastern Aegean last week at the height of the Imia incident was buried with full honors yesterday in Piraeus.

    Hundreds of mourners filled the Holy Trinity Cathedral for the funeral of Lt.-Com. Panayiotis Vlahakos, one of two pilots on the Augusta-Bell helicopter.

    Services began at 3pm and were attended by a host of political and military leaders, including National Defense Under-secretary Nikos Kouris, Merchant Marine Minister Kosmas Sfiriou and other government officials.

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Miltiades Evert and honorary ND president and former premier Constantine Mitsotakis represented the opposition.

    General Staff Chairman Adm. Christos Lymberis, Naval General Staff Chairman Adm. Ioannis Stangas and Hellenic Coast Guard Commander Manolis Peloponnisios represented the armed forces.

    Former president of the republic Christos Sartzetakis, Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas and Piraeus Mayor Stelios Logothetis also attended.

    Lt.-Com. Vlahakos was later buried at a Piraeus cemetery.

    The body of the 10-year navy veteran, along with that of Ensign Ektoras Yialopsos, was retrieved by navy frogmen this week from the remains of the helicopter, which was found approximately three nautical miles northwest off Imia, at a depth of 95 meters

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