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A.N.A. Bulletin, 10/02/96

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

Athens News Agency Directory

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 810), February 10, 1996

Greek Press & Information Office

Ottawa, Canada

E-Mail Address:


  • [1] Cabinet decides to reduce number of Gov't committees

  • [2] Gov't to increase OTE share capital

  • [3] Ankara mute on US suggestion for arbitration

  • [4] Papoutsis

  • [5] Turkish foreign minister

  • [6] Romeos:Aegean incident proves need for effective EU foreign, defense policy

  • [7] Britain rejects Holbrooke's criticism of 'European apathy'

  • [8] Italian EU presidency comes in for criticism

  • [9] Kinkel says Greek interests in a new Europe should be given consideration

  • [10] Pangalos speaks on regional security, reconstruction

  • [11] UN chief worried by Ciller's war threats

  • [12] Replacement of Lymberis may occur before February 18

  • [13] PASOK Executive decides on proposal for today's Central Committee meeting

  • [14] Papandreou's condition unchanged

  • [15] European Parliament asks Council for statement on Aegean incident

  • [16] Evert comments after party meeting

  • [17] Third helicopter pilot laid to rest

  • [18] Clerides meets Arsenis, Mitsotakis, party leaders on final day of Athens visit

  • [19] Archaeologists present significant new finds in northern Greece

  • [20] 35 billion allocated for waste disposal around the country

  • [21] Greek, Yugoslav engineers sign co-operation agreement

  • [1] Cabinet decides to reduce number of Gov't committees

    Athens, 10/02/1996 (ANA)

    The government decided yesterday to cut back on the number of government committees, after Prime Minister Costas Simitis made the proposal to the Cabinet at its meeting yesterday.

    According to government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, the Cabinet reviewed the operation of collective government bodies, the number and their purpose as well as the speed of their operation and authorized the prime minister to take the final decision for "the specific reduction of government committees or the merging of some of them."

    The prime minister presented to the Cabinet his government policy outline, which falls within the following five axes: foreign policy and civil defense; economy and development policy; institutional policy, state and administration; education, health an d social cohesion policy; and culture, environment and quality of life policy.

    Mr. Reppas told reporters that the prime minister briefed the Cabinet on the issue of the replacement of the National Defense General Chief of Staff.

    He added that the Imia incident report will be issued soon.

    [2] Gov't to increase OTE share capital

    Athens, 10/02/1996 (ANA)

    The share capital of the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) is to be increased by 6.034 per cent and the resultant shares to be made available to workers, pensioners and institutional investors through public subscription, according to a draft bill prepared by the government.

    The draft bill provides for the admission of OTE shares on the Athens Stock Exchange and reflects the government's aim of developing the Greek economy through the participation of both the public and private sectors.

    Announcing his government's policy statements in Parliament last week, Prime Minister Costas Simitis said that development policy would focus on the denationalization of public enterprises, including the floating of a small percentage of shares of OTE and the Public Petroleum Company (DEP) on the Athens Stock Exchange. Referring to government's draft bill on the partial privatization of the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE), the Coalition of the Left and Progress said yesterday the measure would be the first step towards a total overhaul of the organization's property status.

    "OTE needs modernization and development, not privatization," it said, adding that it supported workers' efforts for a withdrawal of the bill.

    [3] Ankara mute on US suggestion for arbitration

    Istanbul, 10/02/1996 (ANA - A. Kourkoulas)

    Ankara appears to be giving the silent treatment to a US proposal to refer the issue of the Aegean islet of Imia to the International Court of Justice at The Hague or international arbitration, insisting on "dialogue and negotiations".

    Greece and Turkey last week found themselves on the brink of war after Ankara challenged Greek sovereignty over Imia, leading to a tense stand-off in the Aegean.

    The White House favors referral of the issue to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, a proposal greeted positively in Athens, which said earlier this week that the statement was directed to Turkey rather than Greece.

    The European Union presidency also supports referral of the issue to The Hague.

    "The Greek-Turkish dispute could be resolved at a legal level by its referral to an impartial court such as the Court of Arbitration or the International Court of Justice at The Hague," ANSA quoted Italian Foreign Minister Susanna Agnelli as saying.

    Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Omer Akbel reiterated yesterday however that Ankara wanted "dialogue and negotiations... to deal with all the issues concerning the two countries, including those related to the Aegean."

    Up until the latest crisis over Imia, Greece has repeatedly stated that the only real dispute it has with Turkey concerns the delineation of the continental shelf in the Aegean, which Athens says should be referred to the International Court. Athens regards all other "differences" with Turkey as unilateral demands on the part of Ankara.

    In Bonn, German foreign ministry spokesman Martin Erdmann told the ANA that "the German government attributes the utmost importance to the principle of the peaceful resolution of disputes."

    Replying to questions, the spokesman added that "we support whatever serves the logic of the peaceful resolution of disputes and the taking up of the issue by the International Court of Justice at The Hague is within this framework".

    A German foreign ministry source meanwhile said that an examination of official documents pertaining to the status of the Imia islets from a legal viewpoint had been completed.

    "We came to the conclusion that we neither can, nor want to evaluate this matter," the source told the ANA.

    [4] Papoutsis

    Athens, 10/02/1996 (ANA)

    Back in Athens, Greek EU Commissioner Christos Papoutsis expressed satisfaction at the European Commission's decision to extend "full solidarity" to Greece regarding the recent Greek-Turkish crisis over the Imia islet, in statements yesterday on his arrival.

    He said that "unless Turkey realizes the message of the European Commission, our country may adopt a negative stand regarding the implementation of the EU-Turkey customs union."

    Mr. Papoutsis said Turkey should realize that it cannot take the customs union for granted.

    He added that Turkey "cannot establish trade relations with some (EU) states and manifest territorial designs against others."

    Mr. Papoutsis said the customs union was based on Turkey's obligation "to respect international law and democratic principles."

    Mr. Papoutsis further said that despite the recent incident, the Greek government should remain steadfast in its policy in the Mediterranean and the Balkans, and not suspend negotiations with Skopje.

    Commenting on US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke's statement that the European Union did not assume initiative in the Greek-Turkish crisis, Mr. Papoutsis said:

    "The European Commission sent a warning note to Turkey, unlike the thank-you note sent by the United States."

    He further expressed certainty that the EU message would be taken into consideration by the European Parliament, which is expected to issue a resolution against Turkey's actions when it convenes.

    In Brussels, an ANA dispatch said ND deputy Aristotelis Pavlidis held a meeting yesterday with NATO's Alternate Secretary-General Mr. Balacino.

    The meeting was also attended by Greece's Permanent Representative to NATO, Ambassador Vassilis Zafiropoulos.

    Mr. Pavlidis conveyed to the meeting the concerns of the Greek Parliament at the development of the situation and Turkey's "unacceptable tactic of constantly violating the international agreements and especially the agreements that have been signed by NATO members."

    Mr. Pavlidis drew attention to the 1923 and 1932 agreements for the delineation of the Dodecaneese and Turkey, respectively, as well as the Peace Treaty of Paris which is signed by all NATO member-states' representatives.

    Also expressing the views of the Alliance's Secretary-General Javier Solana, Mr. Balacino said that NATO was closely watching the situation, adding that tensions within NATO should be put at ease.

    [5] Turkish foreign minister

    Istanbul, 10/02/1996 (ANA-A.Kourkoulas)

    Turkish Foreign Minister Deniz Baykal said yesterday that a potential Greek-Turkish dialogue could be based on a "wide range of issues concerning the Aegean or just the status of the islets and rocky islets."

    "We are open to any method," Mr. Baykal was quoted as telling the newspaper 'Milliyet'.

    Mr. Baykal said the problems which should be discussed between the two countries should be "the armament of the islands, the FIR, the continental shelf, territorial waters, etc."

    Referring to the rocky islets, the Turkish minister said that "there are many more islets and rocky islets in the Aegean that may be emerge as a dispute," adding that Ankara was currently compiling a list.

    "What Turkey wants is the delineation and the definition of status of the Aegean's many islets and rocky islets, the status of which is either unclear or in dispute," Mr. Baykal was quoted as saying.

    But he took a safe distance from caretaker Prime Minister Tansu Ciller who said that Greece's claims of sovereignty over the Aegean's islets and rocky islets "could be a cause for war."

    "We cannot say that," Mr. Baykal said in reference to the prime minister's statement.

    [6] Romeos:Aegean incident proves need for effective EU foreign, defense policy

    Athens, 10/02/1996 (ANA)

    Greece's Alternate Foreign Minister George Romeos yesterday took the European Union to task for its inability to take initiatives in averting embroilment on its own borders and called for effective Community foreign and defense policy.

    Citing the dissolution of former Yugoslavia and the recent Greek-Turkish crisis in the Aegean, Mr. Romeos said "the EU's inability to undertake initiatives to avert embroilment on its own borders is a proven fact."

    "This experience must finally convince us of the need for an effective foreign and defense policy aiming at consolidating security on our continent," he said.

    Mr. Romaios was addressing a conference of the European Movement at the foreign ministry.

    He said that, for Greece, the primary duty in the aftermath of the Aegean incident was the safeguarding of the EU's external borders and mutual assistance (among member states) in the case of threat to the territorial sovereignty of an EU member state b y a third country.

    Noting that the process of European integration was among the priorities of the new PASOK government, Mr. Romeos said this year was a decisive turning point for the course of the EU, given the opening of the inter-governmental conference (IGC) for revision of the Maastricht Treaty in Turin on March 15.

    He outlined the government's positions with respect to the IGC as: consolidation of full equality among the member states through reduction of regional inequalities and real convergence among the national economies; strict adherence to the Convergence Programme for Greece to join the third stage of economic and monetary union (EMU) as soon as possible with parallel linking of the EMU procedures with economic and social cohesion, reinforcement of political union with transparency and effectiveness of the institutions; and the formulation of a common foreign and defense policy of substance in the framework of political union of the EU.

    As for EU enlargement, Mr. Romeos said Greece accepted enlargement but the financial cost of enlargement to the east to arise from the ensuing changes in structural policies and agricultural policy should be counterbalanced so that enlargement would not be at the expense of the present lesser-developed regions of the EU.

    [7] Britain rejects Holbrooke's criticism of 'European apathy'

    London, 10/02/1996 (Reuter/ANA)

    Britain yesterday dismissed as nonsense allegations by US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke that Europe had failed to act on a recent territorial confrontation between Turkey and Greece.

    Mr. Holbrooke said earlier this week that the United States had sought to calm the row over the uninhabited islet of Imia in the Aegean Sea, but the Europeans had failed to act.

    "While President (Bill) Clinton was on the phone with Athens and Ankara, the Europeans were literally sleeping through the night," Mr. Holbrooke said.

    But a spokeswoman for Britain's Foreign Office said yesterday:

    "It is nonsense to say that Europe was asleep while the US was active on the Imia dispute."

    She said Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind had personally telephoned Turkish Foreign Minister Deniz Baykal, who is also deputy prime minister, and Britain's ambassadors to Greece and Turkey had been active throughout the crucial night in question.

    The British spokeswoman also challenged Mr. Holbrooke's allegation that Europe "does not seem capable of taking decisive action in its own theater."

    She noted that European troops had been in Bosnia three years before the United States had forces on the ground, and that Britain's contribution to the NATO-led international peacekeeping force was, per head of population, three times that of the United States.

    [8] Italian EU presidency comes in for criticism

    Rome, 10/02/1996 (ANA- L. Hatzikyriakos)

    Increasing criticism is being voiced against Italian Foreign Minister and EU Council president Susanna Agnelli for the inertia shown during the recent Greek-Turkish crisis.

    Italian EU Commissioner Emma Bonino said yesterday that "perhaps we ought to accept the slap on the face that (US Assistant Secretary of State Richard) Holbrooke gave us, referring to European inertia on the Greek-Turkish crisis. Irrespective of the crude language he used, the American secretary was absolutely right in criticizing European incompetence on the issue of foreign policy".

    Referring to the EU inter-governmental conference in Turin later in the year, she said, "the Europe of 2000 needs a common external and defense policy".

    The top circulation paper Corriere dela Serra, in an article entitled "Europe sank in the Aegean," wrote yesterday that even belatedly, the Commission has expressed its solidarity with Greece, while Italy, holding the presidency, kept equal distances between the two sides, hoping that the crisis would find a legal solution. Now, however, everyone agrees that the Greek-Turkish incident underlined the inadequacy of European diplomacy.

    Finally, at the conference of European Greens and Ecologists in Turin yesterday, secretary Paolo Bergamasci said the Italian presidency showed timidity and did not intervene in the crisis, in which the United States became active.

    [9] Kinkel says Greek interests in a new Europe should be given consideration

    Bonn, 10/02/1996 (ANA - P. Stangos):

    German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel conceded that "Greece has special interests in the new European architecture being shaped and which should be taken into consideration."

    In an interview with "Antenna" TV channel, Mr. Kinkel made a special effort to improve the climate in Greek-German relations, expressing his love for Greece and admiration for its history and culture.

    He praised his co-operation with his Greek counterpart Theodoros Pangalos, adding that Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis would be received "in a very friendly and cordial manner" when he visited Bonn.

    Without stating his position on the specific problem concerning the Imia islet incident and the Greek demand for its borders to be safeguarded, Mr. Kinkel referred to the significance of promoting common foreign and security policy at the inter-governmental conference (IGC) and said "it is important that Greece, a partner and friend, should participate fully in this entire process."

    On the question of Cyprus' accession process to the European Union, Mr. Kinkel said he expected confrontations between Greece and Turkey, adding that he hoped they would be overcome.

    "Now we have the Cyprus issue. We decided that six months after the inter-gover-nmental conference we will start accession negotiations with Cyprus and Malta. Of course, past confrontations between Greece and Turkey over Cyprus will surface there. I hop e we will overcome them," he said.

    Referring to Mr. Pangalos, Mr. Kinkel said that he had worked with him closely on many issues in the European Union in the past.

    "With Mr. Pangalos one knows who he is up against. He has the tendency, as I have, to say his opinion clearly and this is not necessarily bad," he added.

    Mr. Kinkel said the visit Alternate Foreign Minister Woerner Heuer would pay to Athens, beginning tomorrow night, exclusively concerned the preparation of the inaugural session of the IGC in Turin at the end of March.

    According to other reports, Mr. Heuer is also interested in finding out the current situation concerning the issue of modernizing Greek Air Force F-4 fighter planes, since the time limit for interested companies tabling bids ends in early April.

    Companies interested in the contract include Germany's DASA, a company belonging to the Daimler-Benz group.

    [10] Pangalos speaks on regional security, reconstruction

    Athens, 10/02/1996 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos in a speech yesterday commented on the recent crisis with Turkey over the Imia islet in the eastern Aegean as well as Greece's relations with other Balkan countries.

    Mr. Pangalos gave the keynote address at a two-day conference at the Athens Concert Hall entitled "Regional security and reconstruction in the Balkans," which is organized by the Hellenic Foundation for Foreign and Defense Policy (ELIAMEP), the Centre for Euro-Mediterranean Studies and Britain's University of Reading.

    Referring to the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, the Greek foreign minister discussed Athens' positions throughout the duration of the crisis, saying Greece over the years moved to limit tension in the region and attempted to influence all the warring sides to solve their problem by political means.

    On the other hand, he said Turkey played the opposite role, aggravating the situation and expanding the conflict with a goal of regaining its Ottoman predecessor's imperial influence.

    Mr. Pangalos also said that in many respects Greece was vindicated by the aftermath of the Imia crisis.

    He also noted that many individuals in Greece today believe Athens should not have been dragged into a premature recognition of Bosnia, imposed, he said, by a combination of certain countries' diplomacy, the stance of a segment of the mass media and what he called "a certain peculiar thinking."

    On another front, Mr. Pangalos called bilateral relations between Greece and Bulgaria a model for other Balkan peoples, while he also referred to relations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). He said the signing of an interim agreement between Athens and Skopje in New York left a "certain remnant," which, he added, was the permanent solution to a problem over the landlocked republic's name, on which negotiations are due to begin shortly.

    The Greek foreign minister said this difference has not blocked the two neighbors from developing good neighborly relations and co-operation, noting that the borders between the two nations have opened and that trade is showing a significant increase.

    In closing his speech, Mr. Pangalos again spoke about Turkey, although he said it was not originally the topic of his discussion.

    In addressing his audience of mostly foreign listeners, he said the decline of political and military blocs should not lead to "local police officers to impose by force rules of behavior. There are international agreements, there is an international law and order; international law exists. We cannot return; whoever feels unfairly dealt with should appeal to procedures in order to assert their rights."

    [11] UN chief worried by Ciller's war threats

    United Nations, 10/02/1996 (ANA-M.Georgiadou)

    UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali is very concerned at the situation in the Aegean and particularly by the provocative statements threatening Greece with war by Turkish caretaker prime minister Tansu Ciller, reliable sources at the UN said yesterday.

    Referring to the meeting Wednesday between Mr. Boutros-Ghali and Greece's permanent representative to the UN Christos Zacharakis regarding Greece's demarche to the UN, the sources stressed that Mr. Boutros-Ghali "also seemed very concerned at the bolstering of the Turkish occupation troops on Cyprus at the same time that the UN chief had expressed his strong disapproval of the massing of military forces in the area".

    In other developments, informed sources said that there would be consultations between Athens and Skopje on the issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's name on February 26-27 under the auspices of UN mediator Cyrus Vance.

    [12] Replacement of Lymberis may occur before February 18

    Athens, 10/02/1996 (ANA)

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said yesterday that the replacement of Chief of Staff Admiral Christos Lymberis may take place before February 18 if National Defense minister Gerassimos Arsenis submits a proposal .

    The Government Council for Foreign Affair and Defense (KYSEA) Thursday night decided to replace Admiral Lymberis following the armed forces chief's refusal to resign.

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis said Thursday night that the replacement would be finalized on February 18 when promotion of high-ranking military official are scheduled to be announced .

    Mr. Reppas said that Mr. Simitis had briefed the Cabinet yesterday on the issue of Admiral Lymberis' replacement , which was not raised by any of the ministers attending .

    Replying to question, Mr. Reppas said that the report on last week's Greek-Turkish stand -off in the Aegean over the islet of Imia would be made public soon.

    He clarified that the Imia incident itself had nothing to do with Adm. Lymberis' replacement, which he attributed to a statement by the military chief in which he made public a conversation he had had with Mr. Simitis during the critical hours of the stand-off.

    Mr. Reppas reiterated that the statement was " unethical" and damaged the prestige of the armed forces.

    The spokesman accused the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party of trying to exploit the Lymberis issue for partisan reasons.

    ND, meanwhile, called on the government to immediately appoint a new chief of national defense general staff.

    ND spokesman Vassilis Manginas underlined that for ten days (up until February 18) Greece would in effect have o overall military chief.

    "With what standing will Admiral Lymberis perform his duties and how will he handle issues of vital national importance during these days? Mr. Manginas asked.

    The spokesman said that "the dangers created by these monstrous developments are indeed great. The prime minister ought to govern or resign."

    Political Spring party leader, Antonis Samaras said "it is unacceptable that the political leadership is in conflict with the military leadership."

    "The government is hostage to the party and the military has no leadership," he said. "The government is divided and now some are trying to divide the military."

    Asked whether there could be dialogue with Turkey on bilateral issues, he said:

    "Our neighboring country should first clarify that it accepts international law and the status quo."

    He was critical of a US proposal to refer the issue of Imia to the International Court at The Hague but proposed the convening of the European Union summit to reach a common position confirming that "Greek borders are borders of the European Union."

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Aleka Papariga said that there was much concerning the issue of Admiral Lymberis' replacement which was "behind the scenes," adding however that it was "a serious political issue."

    Ms Papariga charged that there was a serious danger of "the political problem being converted into a military one and vice-versa" and said that all the circumstances surrounding the Imia incident and the release of the Lymberis-Simitis conversation should first be investigated before being made pubic.

    Asked to comment on Adm. Lymberis' replacement, Coalition of the Left and Progress President Nikos Constantopoulos said that "the country has been injured and does not have the luxury of political, party and personal tactics and games."

    "It is clear that divisions within the government are resulting in grotesque phenomena and... dangerous situations in the armed forces," Mr. Constantopoulos said.

    [13] PASOK Executive decides on proposal for today's Central Committee meeting

    Athens, 10/02/1996 (ANA)

    The recommendation that will be presented at today's PASOK Central Committee meeting was decided on yesterday by the ruling part's Executive Bureau. According to reports, three main issues comprise the recommendation: national matters and foreign policy, relations between the government and the party, and, Finally, an Executive Bureau proposal that a PASOK congress be held between June 13-16. In terms of foreign policy, PASOK is expected to state that negotiations over the Aegean are unacceptable, while reiterating the party's commitment to a joint defense doctrine with Cyprus.

    In reference to government/party relations, the role PASOK will play will be discussed as well as the greater responsibility the Executive Bureau may assume in this case.

    [14] Papandreou's condition unchanged

    Athens, 10/02/1996 (ANA)

    A medical bulletin issued by the Onassion Cardiology Centre yesterday said that the health of ruling PASOK party leader Andreas Papandreou remained stable.

    The former premier's temperature was normal while he continued breathing with the occasional aid of a respirator.

    Mr. Papandreou also underwent dialysis.

    The six US doctors who examined Mr. Papandreou Thursday said there was no reason for the former premier to be transferred to the United States for further treatment, but praised the efforts of the Greek doctors saying that "the patient had received the best possible treatment."

    [15] European Parliament asks Council for statement on Aegean incident

    Athens, 10/02/1996 (ANA)

    The presidium of the European Parliament has asked the Council of Ministers to issue a statement regarding the recent Aegean crisis, following an initiative by Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Eurodeputies and a proposal made by the group for a European Unified Left.

    The matter has been tabled for discussion during the Parliament session in Strasbourg February 12-15.

    The group for a European Unified Left submitted a resolution condemning " Turkey's blatant violation of international law," the "attempt at contesting the sovereign rights of Greece, a member-state of the EU," as well as the " unacceptable statement made by caretaker Prime Minister Ms Ciller, who considers the exercising of Greek sovereignty on the rocky islets as a cause for war."

    [16] Evert comments after party meeting

    Athens, 10/02/1996 (ANA)

    Speaking at his party's Central Committee session yesterday, New Democracy party leader Miltiades Evert reiterated that the government's handling and omissions during the recent Greek-Turkish crisis verged on treason.

    Mr. Evert accused Prime Minister Costas Simitis of being the "man of austerity," while trying to copy ND's basic policy lines. He claimed that the ruing party needed at least two years to catch up with ND's proposals for modernization and development.

    The opposition leader rejected criticism voiced by his predecessor, Constantine Mitsotakis, in the course of a television interview Wednesday, concerning the party's walkout during the parliamentary debate on the government's policy statement earlier this month.

    He said the option was the right one, had been decided unanimously, and everyone knew about it.

    Mr. Evert dismissed scenarios and proposals, mainly by the Political Spring party, for the formation of a national unity government, saying that they belonged to the "sphere of imagination of some".

    He claimed that New Democracy had adopted a responsible stand from the moment former prime minister Andreas Papandreou was hospitalized, "showing that it constitutes the hope and prospect of the Greek people".

    [17] Third helicopter pilot laid to rest

    Athens, 10/02/1996 (ANA)

    The last of three Hellenic Navy officers killed when their helicopter crashed off Imia last week during the height of the Greek-Turkish crisis in the Aegean, was buried with full honors yesterday in Nea Liosia.

    Hundreds of mourners filled the Ayia Varvara Church and its courtyard to pay their last respects to Ensign Ektoras Yialopsos, while dozens of wreaths, a navy honor guar and a military band stood nearby.

    National Defense Minister Gerassimos Arsenis and Public Order Minister Costas Geitonas represented the government along with other officials, while New Democracy leader Miltiades Evert and honorary ND president Constantine Mitsotakis represented the main opposition. General Staff Chairman Christos Lymberis was among a host of officers at the funeral.

    Several deputies and other political leaders attended as well.

    The other two officers in the helicopter were buried earlier in the week in separate services.

    [18] Clerides meets Arsenis, Mitsotakis, party leaders on final day of Athens visit

    Athens, 10/02/1996 (ANA)

    Visiting Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides yesterday held talks with Greek National Defense Minister Gerassimos Arsenis.

    Mr. Arsenis , who later had a two-hour meeting with this Cypriot counterpart Costas Eliades, said his working breakfast with Mr. Clerides had been in lieu of a meeting at the Pentagon later in the day.

    No statements were made after the talks, but when asked whether the joint Greek-Cypriot defense doctrine 'was in operation' during last week's Greek-Turkish crisis over the Imia islet incident, Mr. Arsenis declined comment.

    Mr. Clerides who arrived in Athens on Thursday, also met with main opposition New Democracy party honorary president and former premier Constantine Mitsotakis.

    Mr. Mitsotakis said they had a "friendly and frank" exchange of views on "common problems" of Athens and Nicosia.

    Mr. Mitsotakis expressed the opinion that there was a "dangerous crisis" in Greek-Turkish relations, adding that Greece should place the Cyprus problem on a priority basis among its national issues.

    The Cyprus problem was the "touchstone for Turkey's intentions," Mr. Mitsotakis said.

    The former premier also said that any US initiative on the problem was "welcome, either with (US Assistant Secretary of State) Richard Holbrooke or any other official chosen by President Bill Clinton."

    "If the Cyprus problem is solved, all the others will become easier," Mr. Mitsotakis said.

    Mr. Clerides also had talks with President of the Parliament, Apostolos Kaklamanis focusing on current developments in the Cyprus problem.

    Mr. Kaklamanis said that he would visit Mr. Clerides in Cyprus next week where he will address the House of Representatives.

    "The conclusion of today's meeting is that we can be optimistic as long as there is unity, consensus and decisiveness towards any provocation against our sovereign rights," Mr. Kaklamanis said.

    Speaking to reporters after talks with Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary-General Aleka Papariga, Mr. Clerides said that there were no major deferences between Greece's political parties concerning their approach to the Cyprus problem.

    Winding up two days of talks in Athens, Mr. Clerides said he would convey the views of the Greek government and opposition parties to Cyprus' National Council which is scheduled to convene on Monday.

    Mr. Clerides declined to comment on the positions expressed by the political parties until he has briefed the council.

    Ms Papariga meanwhile said that the Cyprus problem was currently caught "in the cogs of the initiatives of the United States, Western Europe and the UN Secretary-General."

    The KKE leader said that "with the various initiatives here and there, the Cyprus problem continues to be unresolved and perhaps this is the way in which certain major powers want the problem to remain unresolved so that we are led to a de facto partition situation in Cyprus which the new order of thins will later turn into official dual sovereignty."

    Ms Papariga said that the KKE would insist that any solution to the Cyprus problem being based on UN resolutions, adding that the region needed a federal Cyprus state under a single sovereignty.

    She reiterated her party's opposition to the joint defense doctrine between Greece and Cyprus, calling it "inconclusive".

    "We are in favor of defense co-operation between the two countries," she said.

    Earlier, following talks with Mr. Clerides, Coalition of the Left and Progress leader Nikos Constantopoulos said that the Cyprus problem was one of invasion and occupation.

    He too expressed the view that a solution should be found within the framework of UN resolutions "which will result in the consolidation of security and peace in the region and the parallel demilitarization of the island."

    Mr. Constantopoulos said that the Cyprus problem was an international one and should not be allowed to "slide" to the level of Greek-Turkish differences and reiterated his party's reservations concerning the joint defense doctrine.

    [19] Archaeologists present significant new finds in northern Greece

    Athens, 10/02/1996 (ANA)

    Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki professor George Velenis yesterday presented the recent important findings of excavations at the city's ancient market, during the sessions of the annual archaeological conference in the northern Greek capital .

    The findings are 16 clay molds for the production of coins, excavated at a mint which operated between the 2nd and 4th centuries AD.

    Five metallurgical furnaces were also found in the particular location.

    It was also announced at the conference that another team of archaeologists has discovered a hamlet of the Geometric era (8th century BC) , incorporating the Sindos cemetery, where many golden artifacts were found.

    The conference will end today.

    [20] 35 billion allocated for waste disposal around the country

    Athens, 10/02/1996 (ANA)

    Thirty-five billion drachmas will be provided in 1997 for the disposal of refuse in 12 regions in the country, with the exception of the Attica prefecture, for which the programme anticipates 45 billion drachmas.

    The programme, presented yesterday be Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis, foresees the creation of 13 new locations for the hygienic disposal of refuse.

    Mr. Laliotis said the ministry had assumed its responsibilities and called on prefects and local self-administration organizations to speed up processes to implement the programme. He clarified that the ministry was ready to attribute penal responsibilities to any local self administration official found hindering the implementation of projects.

    Out of the 35 billion drachmas, Central Macedonia will receive 13,230,000 drachmas, Thessaly will receive 6,020,000, Western Sterea 2,870,000 and Southern Aegean region 2,314,000 drachmas.

    Mr. Laliotis said that 3.1 million tones of household refuse, 450,000 tones of dangerous industrial refuse and 15,000 tones of contagious hospital refuse were produced in Greece every year.

    [21] Greek, Yugoslav engineers sign co-operation agreement

    Athens, 10/02/1996 (ANA)

    A co-operation agreement between engineers from Greece and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was signed yesterday within the framework of a four-day meeting between civil engineers from Greece, Yugoslavia and Russia in Thessaloniki.

    A meeting also took place yesterday between Yugoslav university scientists and technical experts with representatives of the Thessaloniki University's Technical School and members of the Central Macedonian department of the Technical Chamber of Greece.

    During the meeting, possibilities for co-operation on a scientific level were discussed.

    The Yugoslavians also asked for the help of Greek experts on matters of new technology, as well as for the promotion of EU programmes with the participation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as a third party, non-EU member country.

    End of English language section.

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