|Tuesday, 12 November 2019|
A.N.A. Bulletin, 17/02/96
From: "Greek Press & Information Office, Ottawa Canada" <email@example.com>
Athens News Agency Directory
ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 816), February 17, 1996
Greek Press & Information Office
E-Mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
 Premier calls for a new basis to relations between government and party at PASOK youth conference
 New Greek chief of staff pledges to improve fighting capability
 Premier chairs KYSEA meeting on new armed forces heads
 George Papandreou comments on role of Andreas Papandreou
 Reppas comments on PASOK president's statements
 Papandreou's health improving rapidly, doctors say
 Papariga calls for more frequent briefings
 Greece replies to Turkey over Imia dispute, Ankara refuses international arbitration
 Greek reply to Turkish protest
 Baykal insists on negotiations
 No new crisis
 Turkish vessel harasses Greek fishing boats
 Reppas comments on Simitis visit to the US
 Samaras welcomes news of Simitis visit to the US
 Evert to visit Cyprus next week
 Gov't welcomes Europarliament resolution
 Foreign office clarifies Rifkind statements on Imia
 Gov't condemns attack on US embassy
 Clinton condemns attack
 Opposition reactions
 Imia helicopter raised
 Opposition calls for resignations
 Arsenis meets with expatriate Greek representatives
 Development minister to draft support programme for Aegean islands
 Premier calls for a new basis to relations between government and party at PASOK youth conferenceAthens, 17/2/1996 (ANA)
Addressing the PASOK Youth Organization conference yesterday, Prime Minister Costas Simitis called for relations between government and party, and party and Youth, to be set on a new footing.
"I consider that we have now left behind the necessary, if you like, period of politically identifying the party with the government. What we are seeking today is a PASOK which will support the government critically. I wish to stress the word 'critically'. We are seeking support. Support is necessary. A joint course is necessary. But this must not come self-evidently, not because the government has said so. It must originate in a discussion, in a dialogue, in a critical examination...
"The basic requirement for any success is not only the government's decision, but for society to want to proceed according to that decision. And this means that there must always be a fruitful dialogue with society, in a framework with social responsibility...
"This means a PASOK which is open, collective, democratic, and modern...
"In 1974, we were a party of Youth. It was Youth that supported us. This is no more. This is the bitter truth. A big part of Youth has distanced itself from politics, generally. They are looking at us with distrust...
"The duty to become a party of Youth, a party of young people, with prospects for tomorrow, falls mainly on you. Not a party of apparatchiks, a party of people employed in the public sector, who have sat satisfied on some posts...
"We know that we live in a society which, unfortunately, rewards the lesser effort. We live in a society which does not use morality as the main lever, and often looks admiringly at those who do not pay so much attention to values which must permeate us . We live in a society where mediocrity is often rewarded more than meritocracy.
"We, the older generation have a responsibility for this situation. But you, the younger ones, do not have lesser responsibility if you copy us. The models, those which determine us, must be the result of a continuous new examination...
"Socialism is a continuous process forward...
"Before the challenges of the 21st century, before the tremendous change taking place in our environment, only the forces of progress, only the Socialist forces can win the bet for a different society...
"You must show your opposition where you see conservative practices, conservative positions, where you feel there is a deficit in democracy, a deficit in reason...
"We need this new PASOK. And the party congress is a big opportunity which must not be lost...
"We want a pluralist party, free of the ossification of dogmas, with internal democracy, with positions which arise from a free dialogue. A party which will always be in a position to express the majority current in society...
"Therefore, the time has come to sense that we must change ourselves. To change PASOK with a common effort, so as to be able to proceed again as Greek society wants and asks...
"We are a new government. As I have said, a government of continuity and renewal. And I hope that with your help, we shall be a government of victory".
 SkandalidisAthens, 17/2/1996 (ANA)
In his address to the conference, Central Committee Secretary Costas Skandalidis outlined the prospects of a contemporary socialist way out of the social crisis, on the basis of the traditional values of emancipation and self-management, the dictates of democracy, justice, equality and solidarity, and the claim to the "rights to work, employment, knowledge, education, culture, free and creative time".
He called on PASOK youth to make its "individual and collective revolution," away from the pull of "internal dividing lines" and "mechanisms of authority".
The conference is attended by delegates of socialist party youth organizations from Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia and Malta, the president of the Socialist International Youth Organization N. Zingaretti, and representatives of Greek party youth organizations.
 New Greek chief of staff pledges to improve fighting capabilityAthens, 17/2/1996 (ANA)
New Greek chief of staff pledges to improve fighting capability, a strong army keeps the peace, Tzoganis says Newly-appointed armed forces joint chief of staff General Athanassios Tzoganis said yesterday that his main aim would be to further improve the fighting capability and readiness of Greece's military.
Speaking at a special ceremony during which he officially replaced outgoing joint chief of staff Admiral Christos Lymberis, General Tzoganis said that a strong military and the balance of power in any given region prevented conflagrations and contributed to stability.
"The principal and visible threat against our country is well known and originates from the irrational and unilateral claims of our neighbor and ally Turkey against Greece. Ankara's expansionist designs can now be clearly seen. Turkey's challenging of (G reek) national air space in the Aegean, of our right to extend our territorial waters and of the international agreements pertaining to the region is evidence of its aspirations," General Tzoganis said.
Greece's new military chief called on Turkey "to see reason so that our two neighboring peoples can live in peace."
"Turkey must know that the Greeks want peace and progress, but that we are ready to sacrifice ourselves to the last person, as our history has shown, to defend our country and our legitimate rights," General Tzoganis said.
Admiral Lymberis' replacement was decided by the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defense (KYSEA) last week in the wake of the Imia crisis in the Aegean.
Speaking at yesterday's ceremony, Adm. Lymberis said that all Greeks must become aware that "the confrontation of Turkey's provocations in disputing our sovereign rights in the Aegean is our major national problem."
In the latest Aegean crisis, he said, it was proven beyond all doubt that the armed forces were at a high state of readiness, had a high morale and were ready for sacrifice in the face of a possible confrontation. Wishing Gen. Tzoganis the best of luck in his new duties, Adm. Lymberis said "we need strong armed forces and it is a time for sacrifices at an individual and national level in order to safeguard the country's integrity."
Speaking after the ceremony, National Defense Minister Gerassimos Arsenis echoed Adm. Lymberis' views on the Imia crisis, stressing that "it was clear that the armed forces were fully ready, if necessary, to confront the adversary, having also the tactic al advantage thanks to the planning of the joint chief of staff."
"We will proceed further in order to upgrade the fighting capability of the armed forces and be even more ready for any eventuality," Mr. Arsenis said.
The minister added that "what will stop the adventurism, Turkish expansionism, is the strong deterrent of the armed forces".
Main opposition New Democracy party Vice-President Ioannis Varvitsiotis said that "the appointment of retired Athanassios Tzoganis, planted by PASOK, proves that the government has learned nothing from the monstrosities which occurred during the recent Greek-Turkish crisis."
He said the party hoped that "this was an opportunity to replace the party leadership of the armed forces by a natural hierarchy based on meritocracy."
"It is obvious," he added, "that the only thing which interests the government is to stay in office through internal party balances."
 Premier chairs KYSEA meeting on new armed forces headsAthens, 17/2/1996 (ANA)
Prime Minister Costas Simitis chaired a Government Foreign Affairs and Defense Council (KYSEA) meeting yesterday, selecting new army, air force and navy general staff chiefs.
Lieutenant-General Manousos Parayioudakis, commander of the Fourth Army Corps to date, was appointed army general staff chief. He succeeds Constantine Voulgaris.
Rear-Admiral Leonidas Palaiogiorgos, commander of the fleet to date, was appointed navy general staff chief. He succeeds Ioannis Stangas.
George Antonetsis was appointed air force general staff chief.
KYSEA will convene again over the weekend and, after proposals by the General Staff Chief Council, will appoint senior officers to form the armed forces new military leadership.
Mr. Simitis said the selection of general staff chiefs was based on ability, experience and effectiveness, adding that the selection safeguarded the fighting-fitness of the armed forces.
"The government and I stand by the armed forces to enable them to proceed with their mission. The Greek people should feel certain that they have fighting-fit armed forces," he said.
 George Papandreou comments on role of Andreas PapandreouAthens, 17/2/1996 (ANA)
Education Minister George Papandreou, the son of PASOK president and former prime minister Andreas Papandreou, said yesterday that his father was able to speak and define his position but he should not be entangled by others in internal party strife.
"Others should not try to entangle Andreas Papandreou into any conflict or internal party problems which may exist," he said in Patras yesterday.
"Of course, Andreas Papandreou has every ability to speak and (define) his position," he said, adding that "he will speak when he decides to do so."
Mr. Papandreou was referring to a statement by Interior Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos on Thursday, who said Mr. Papandreou expressed concern over future developments in the Aegean during a telephone conversation with him.
Asked whether his statement was a hint for Mr. Tsohatzopoulos, Mr. Papandreou said it was his responsibility to protect his father from any misunderstanding.
"It is a hint for nobody, it is my responsibility as son of Andreas Papandreou, to protect him while he is in hospital from any misunderstanding."
"Andreas Papandreou is beyond internal views or strife and is a symbol of unity for PASOK," Mr. Papandreou said.
The education minister was in Patras to inaugurate a pilot programme for schools to use the Internet to establish communication.
 Reppas comments on PASOK president's statementsAthens, 17/2/1996 (ANA)
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said the government was not bothered by anything Andreas Papandreou said, adding that PASOK's president communicated with members of both the government and the party. Mr. Reppas said yesterday if Mr. Tsohatzopoulos had conveyed his words accurately it meant that Mr. Papandreou was urging all to lower tensions on the home front to facilitate the handling of national issues.
Replying to a question on why Mr. Papandreou did not send the message through the prime minister, Mr. Reppas said the prime minister and PASOK's president communicated and exchanged views which were identical on the course of government work.
 Papandreou's health improving rapidly, doctors sayAthens, 17/2/1996 (ANA)
The treatment of former prime minister Andreas Papandreou with respiratory physiotherapy and kinisotherapy is continuing without any problems, yesterday's medical bulletin said. His doctors stressed yesterday that Mr. Papandreou's condition is improving fast, and they have said it is possible he may be discharged from hospital before the end of the month.
Meanwhile, PASOK parliamentary spokesman Yiannis Haralambous stated expenses exceeding the legitimate expenditure paid for by the Greek state for Mr. Papandreou's hospitalization, such as expenses incurred for the transportation of foreign doctors to Greece and for accommodation in the Onassion Hospital, would be paid for by the party.
The statement was made in reply to a condemnation by New Democracy deputy Nikos Anastasopoulos regarding the two billion drachma bill for the treatment of the former prime minister.
 Papariga calls for more frequent briefingsAthens, 17/2/1996 (ANA)
Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary-General Aleka Papariga was briefed on developments in Greek-Turkish relations by the national defense ministry's political leadership yesterday. Following the briefing, Ms Papariga said the issue was political, no t legal or military. "The question is what kind of policy the government and the parties will follow from now on," she said. She stressed the need for substantial and frequent briefings.
"The Defense and Foreign Council (KYSEA) should operate not only during a crisis or for public relations," she added.
Commenting on the European Parliament's resolution, Ms Papariga said it was a small step which needed to be exploited.
She noted that "Turkish chauvinism and expansionism were supported directly or indirectly by the new order," illustrated, she added, by the fact that "on the first day of the crisis, the United States, Western European countries, the Western European UN ion and NATO held a policy of equal distances."
 Greece replies to Turkey over Imia dispute, Ankara refuses international arbitrationIstanbul, 17/2/1996 (ANA-A.Kourkoulas)
The Greek charge d'affaires in Ankara, Panayiotis Vlassopoulos, yesterday handed Turkish Foreign Under-secretary Onur Oymen Athens' reply to the verbal note submitted to the Greek embassy in Ankara by Foreign Minister Deniz Baykal on the eve of the latest Greek-Turkish crisis in the Aegean over the rocky islet of Imia. The reply, in the form of a verbal note, stresses in particular the validity and applicability of the two 1932 Italo-Turkish agreements concerning the Dodecanese.
 Greek reply to Turkish protestAthens, 17/2/1996 (ANA)
The text of the reply to the Turkish verbal note, released yesterday by the foreign ministry, is as follows:
1. The assertion that the 1932 Italo-Turkish agreements "were negotiated within the context of the particular political situation of the pre-second world war era" does not have any legal significance. Indeed, agreements regarding frontiers and territorial regimes are governed by the principle of stability and are permanent and unchangeable. This rule of General International Law has been expressly codified in article 62 (2) al. 1 of the Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties of 23 May 1969, as well as in articles 11 and 12 of the Vienna Convention on Succession of States in respect of Treaties of 23 August 1978.
2. Concerning the allegation that the legal procedures with regard to the Italo-Turkish Agreement of December 28, 1932 were not completed, and that it was not registered with the League of Nations, the following points should be made: The Agreement of December 28, 1932 which was concluded by virtue of the exchange of letters dated January 4, 1932, was complementary to the Agreement of January 4, 1932, which was duly ratified by both parties and registered with the Secretariat of the League of Nations. Consequently, and as the Agreement of December 28, 1932 simply referred to a matter of maritime delimitation in a region where, as its text itself and the exchanged letters mentioned above affirm, no dispute whatsoever existed with regard to sovereignty, it needed no further approval by the parties.
Furthermore, from the text of the Agreement of December 28, 1932 which is a complete international conventional instrument, it is evident that the intention of the parties was to put it into effect as from its signature, as indeed was done. For the same reasons, registration with the League of Nations was not needed in this case.
The above constitute an irrefutable truth and Greece has never had any doubts as to the validity of the above Agreements. The investigation in our historical archives has not revealed the existence of any formal correspondence of 1950 or 1953, nor at an y other time, inviting Turkey to talks with a view to confirming the validity of the said agreements. But even if such an invitation had indeed been made, this in no way could affect the validity of agreements in force. As a matter of fact, succession by Greece in the above mentioned agreements was immediate and direct, in accordance with General International Law.
3. Moreover, Turkey in the period 1932-1947 and thereafter until the Imia incident, had not challenged the validity of these agreements. The same holds true for Italy and for the period she was exercising her sovereignty over the Dodecanese islands. On the contrary, it should be added that Turkey not only in 1932, but also in 1950, had accepted that there already existed maritime delimitation in the region. This is proved by the Regional Air Navigation Agreement of the Second Middle East Regional Air Navigation Meeting held in Istanbul in 1950, and adopted by the ICAO Council, that the Athens/Istanbul FIR border line coincide with the Turkish western frontiers in the area, as evidenced by the relevant ICAO map (No. 7), and by the official Turkish International Air Navigation Map of 1953 published in Ankara. Such a maritime delimitation is also depicted in the official Turkish map attached to the Annual Report of 1953 on the navigation of ships across the "Strait of Istanbul, the Strait of Canakkale and the Marmara Sea," in accordance with the Montreux Convention of 1936. In all these maps, as well as in other Turkish and international official maps, the Imia rocks are depicted belonging to Greece.
4. With respect to the argument concerning Greek proposals submitted during the 1947 Peace Conference to make specific reference to the 1932 Agreements, it must be said that the non-inclusion of such reference in the text of the 1947 Peace Treaty in no way affects the validity of these Agreements. The Conference simply preferred for reasons of simplicity and brevity to stay with the corresponding text of article 15 of the Lausanne Peace Treaty, under which the Dodecanese and its adjacent islets were cede d to Italy. To add that the 1947 Peace Treaty did not include in its provisions pertaining to the cession of territory any mention of other international agreements, without of course this omission having any bearing on their validity.
5. The Imia rocks undoubtedly form part of a chain of islands, islets and rocks of the Dodecanese complex and constitute adjacent islets within the meaning of article 14 para 1 of the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty. This fact had been expressly recognized by the Italo-Turkish Agreement of December 28, 1932, by referring explicitly to Italian sovereignty over Imia. Furthermore, according to the 1923 Lausanne Peace Treaty, Turkish sovereignty is retained, apart from Imbros, Tenedos and Rabbit Islands, only over the islands lying within a 3 mile limit off the Turkish coast. In this respect, Greece recognizes titles of sovereignty as provided by international treaties only, not on other extra-legal criteria, such as that of distance (without any legal reference), as mentioned in the Turkish Verbal Note in question, the figures of which are in any case inaccurate.
6. The legal regime of islands is clearly defined and no legal uncertainty exists over it. Moreover, all islands, inhabited or not, independently of how they are termed (islets, rocky islands, rocks, etc.- these terms having only geographical and not leg al connotation), and irrespective of their size, are accorded the same legal treatment by both the Lausanne Peace Treaty of 1923 and the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947. Consequently, there is absolutely no vacuum with regard to the legal regime of the islands , as set out above, in the entire Aegean area.
7. Reference is also made in the Turkish Note concerning the demilitarization of the Dodecanese. In this respect, the Embassy would like to recall and confirm the contents of Verbal Note.... dated....., as well as its previous Verbal Notes on the matter. In addition, the recent Resolution of the Turkish National Assembly (June 8, 1995) authorizing the Turkish government to use all means, including the military ones against Greece in case she exercises her legitimate right to extend her territorial waters, as well as the Imia incident itself, confirm beyond any doubt that the Greek argumentation on the matter is both legitimate and justified.
In view of the above, Greece rejects the Turkish allegations and consequently she declares that she is not inclined to negotiate in any manner questions related to her territorial sovereignty based on International Law and Treaties.
The Embassy of Greece in Ankara avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the assurances of its highest consideration.
 Baykal insists on negotiationsBrussels, 17/2/1996 (ANA - M. Savva and F. Stangos)
Turkish Foreign Minister Deniz Baykal reiterated Ankara's long-standing position yesterday that "unsettled issues" between Greece and Turkey should be solved through dialogue.
Mr. Baykal made the statement here after meeting with NATO Secretary General Javier Solana and European Commissioner for common foreign and security policy Hans van den Broek.
The Turkish foreign minister ruled out referring the issue of the sovereignty of the Imia islets to the International Court of Justice in The Hague or international arbitration, saying the two nations must first enter into negotiations, after commenting on a series of problems, which he said "have not been solved".
Mr. Baykal said Turkey had not asked for mediation by third countries, but said the international community should "suggest" direct discussions.
According to NATO sources, Mr. Baykal presented Ankara's positions on the issues in his meeting with the NATO chief, which Mr. Solana "noted", they said. NATO officials, however, did not issue any statements.
Mr. van den Broek also did not issue a statement after his meeting with the Turkish foreign minister, although it was reported that the EU commissioner proposed referral to the international court. Sources close to Mr. van den Broek said that the Commission was not taking a position on the legal aspect of the difference, saying the EU body cannot say "who that islet (Imia) belongs to."
The same sources clarified that the Commission officially expressed its position last week with a statement of solidarity to Greece.
During their meeting, Mr. van den Broek and Mr. Baykal also exchanged views on possible repercussions the recent Aegean crisis could have on EU-Turkish relations. According to reports, the Turkish minister did not rule out the possibility that Ankara would re-examine its position on the EU-Turkey customs union agreed last year in case the 15-member union does not apply the financial aid part of the agreement.
Asked by Greek reporters why Turkey did not agree to international arbitration if it disputes Greek sovereignty, Mr. Baykal replied: "Greece can apply to any (international arbitration) body if it doubts Turkey's sovereign rights. The problem is as follows: Greece has a dispute which includes legal and political elements. Thus, before we enter any arbitration or legal procedure, we must jointly discuss the issue and solve at least some of those (problems) before we appeal to a judicial body.
"We should establish conditions, accept rules and procedures with which we will appeal to a (international) judicial body."
In reference to the Europarliament resolution on Thursday, which attributed responsibility to Turkey for the recent crisis, Mr. Baykal said: "It (resolution) has no legal basis. Unfortunately, the European Parliament lost the ability to play some role i n the dispute. The resolution was one-sided and groundless."
Asked what the subject of his proposed negotiations could be, the Turkish foreign minister cited sea boundaries between the two nations, which he claimed have not been delineated, as well as several "islets and rocky islets in the Aegean," which Mr. Baykal said do not have an established sovereignty.
"There are so many 'Kardaks' (Imia) in the Aegean. The continental shelf issue, the airspace (issue), FIR... If you are looking for a catalogue of problems between Greece and Turkey you will not have any problems," Mr. Baykal told a Greek reporter.
In Ankara yesterday, caretaker Prime Minister Tansu Ciller also reiterated the call for direct talks between the two countries to solve existing problems in the Aegean."
Ms Ciller said that if Greece had documents clearly showing its sovereign rights over the islets, it should come forward with them and "give an opportunity for dialogue."
President of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, Mustafa Kalemli, announced his intention to send letters to the European Parliament and parliaments of other countries to explain Turkish positions on the Imia islet.
A Turkish Grand National Assembly announcement on the resolution said that none of the internationally credible documents give sovereign rights to Greece."
Meanwhile, the Turkish daily 'Hurriyet' said the European Parliament's resolution on the Imia crisis was a clear message of "disapproval to Ankara" but that "Europe was spoiling the Greeks".
Most of the press said the resolution was "anti-Turkish" as well as "threatening."
 No new crisisAthens, 17/2/1996 (ANA)
In another development yesterday, Turkish diplomatic sources described as "farfetched" Turkish press reports speaking of "an new near-crisis over Imia."
According to press reports, a Greek fishing vessel operating near the islet has triggered new tensions in the relations of the two countries. But the Anatolia news agency quoted diplomatic sources as saying that "the presence of a Greek fishing vessel should not be taken out of proportion and presented as a crisis."
On Thursday, Mr. Vlassopoulos, the charge d'affaires in Ankara, was summoned to the Turkish foreign ministry by the Turkish Alternate Under-secretary Inal Batu in relation to the incident.
A Turkish foreign ministry announcement later said that "Greece answered negatively to Ankara for the solution of problems through dialogue." "Turkey attributes importance to the co-operation and friendship with Greece but it is not possible to accept faits accomplis."
 Turkish vessel harasses Greek fishing boatsAthens, 17/2/1996 (ANA)
Fishermen in Alexandroupolis have sent a memorandum to Evros Prefect George Dolios calling for a coast guard vessel similar to a Turkish one which is continuing to terrorize fishing vessels from Thrace sailing in international waters in the northeastern Aegean Sea.
The memorandum said "protection of the Alexandroupolis - Ladoxera islet - Samothrace sea region is necessary and because we will not accept any more persecution and pressures from Turkey's coast guard vessel, we fear taking action against our will and becoming the cause of whatever might happen." Some 24 fishing boats continue to be anchored at the ports of Alexandroupolis and Samothrace since Thursday afternoon to protest Turkish provocations and the lack of protection.
 Reppas comments on Simitis visit to the USAthens, 17/2/1996 (ANA)
Prime Minister Costas Simitis' visit to the United States on April 9 will be a working visit "the results of which will be important and within the framework of the friendship between the two countries," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said yesterday .
 Samaras welcomes news of Simitis visit to the USAthens, 17/2/1996 (ANA)
Political Spring leader Antonis Samaras yesterday described as "positive" an official invitation extended to Prime Minister Costas Simitis from US President Bill Clinton.
Speaking during his tour of central Macedonia, Mr. Samaras said the prime minister's visit to the United States could be better exploited "if there was a unified national policy."
Commenting on the European Parliament's resolution, Mr. Samaras said "we should not rest on our laurels or have any illusions, for this is just a view and not a binding decision."
 Evert to visit Cyprus next weekAthens, 17/2/1996 (ANA)
Main opposition New Democracy party leader Miltiades Evert will leave for Cyprus on Wednesday for talks with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and political party leaders.
Mr. Evert's programme includes a visit to the Greek Force in Cyprus (ELDYK) and his participation in a conference jointly organized by ND and the Cypriot Democratic Rally party (DHSY). His meeting with President Clerides has been set for next Friday.
Mr. Evert is due back in Athens on Saturday.
 Gov't welcomes Europarliament resolutionAthens, 17/2/1996 (ANA)
The government yesterday expressed its satisfaction at the European Parliament resolution expressly attributing responsibility to Turkey for the recent crisis in the Aegean.
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said that Greece believed "such texts should form the basis on which relations of friendship and co-operation develop between peoples."
The resolution, overwhelmingly adopted by the European Parliament Thursday, also stresses that Greece's borders are also part of the borders of the European Union.
"Europe sent a clear message to Turkey, while Greece will co-operate with all international agencies so that such texts in practice contribute to the development of relations between the countries of Europe and the rest of the world," Mr. Reppas said.
Replying to questions, Mr. Reppas reiterated that the government remained firm in its intention to "intervene" with respect to the procedure for the disbursement of EU funds to Turkey.
 Foreign office clarifies Rifkind statements on ImiaLondon, 17/2/1996 (ANA - L. Tsirigotakis)
A British foreign office spokesman yesterday said statements this week by Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind calling for direct negotiation between Athens and Ankara was made "within the larger framework of bilateral Greek- Turkish relations."
The foreign office spokesman made the comments after Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos criticized the British foreign secretary's remarks on Greek-Turkish differences, especially over the recent Imia dispute.
In order to avoid any further misunderstandings, Mr. Rifkind telephoned Mr. Pangalos to clarify this point, the spokesman said.
 Gov't condemns attack on US embassyAthens, 17/2/1996 (ANA)
The government yesterday condemned a rocket-propelled grenade attack against the US Embassy late Thursday, saying the terrorist action only served "anti-Greek plans".
An announcement issued by the press and media ministry read:
"The government, reflecting the sentiments of the entire Greek people, unequivocally condemns yesterday's provocative terrorist action, which was not a random act."
"At a time when Greece is significantly reinforcing its position internationally, with the expressed resolutions of governments and organizations, this terrorist action serves anti-Greek plans."
The announcement added that the government "will confront these provocations and intensify its activities to rid our society of this phenomenon, which insults the institutions and is contrary to the national interest."
Police said a 3.5-inch rocket fired from a moving vehicle hit the outer wall of the parking lot behind the embassy, wrecking three cars belonging to US embassy personnel but causing no injuries. Shop and house windows in the area were also damaged.
Although no group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, senior police officers believe it bears the hallmark of the November 17 terrorist group.
According to reports, the attack was carried out by four people from a van with two bazookas stolen from the War Museum.
Public Order Minister Costas Geitonas said that the manner in which the attack was carried out leaves little doubt that it was the work of the November 17 terrorist organization.
He said that the terrorists were not able to achieve their aim due to increased security at the embassy.
Security measures have been increased at all possible targets for further attacks.
 Clinton condemns attackNew York, 17/2/1996 (Reuter/ANA)
US President Bill Clinton on Thursday night condemned the rocket attack on the US embassy in Athens and vowed to work with the Greek government to find those responsible for what the White House called a "cowardly act."
"President Clinton strongly condemned the terrorist rocket attack against the US embassy in Athens," the White House said in a statement.
"This incident underscores the continuing threat around the world posed by terrorists and terrorist organizations," said the statement, released in New York where Mr. Clinton was in the midst of a three-day campaign-style swing through six states.
"We will be working with the Greek government to help bring the perpetrators of this cowardly act to justice," the statement added. In Washington, US State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns praised Greek security forces for what he called "a quick and effective" mobilization after the unsuccessful rocket attack.
He said Washington was working closely with Athens on the matter.
"We are investigating the incident and we are cooperating closely with the Greek government in order to bring the perpetrators of this attack to justice," Mr. Burns said.
"We hope that the Greek government will find the assailants."
The State Department spokesman said the US government has some evidence on the attack, adding that the US will offer any assistance if needed.
"We have confidence in the Greek government. We undoubtedly trust the Greek government," he added.
Asked if the terrorist attack has any connection with the recent Greek-Turkish crisis over the Imia islet, Mr. Burns replied that he did not believe there was a connection. "I would be surprised if there was such a connection."
He also said no justification existed for such actions. "The United States is an ally of Greece and the Greek people know this," he said.
In reference to a question on whether the act was related to "anti-Americanism," Mr. Burns again reiterated the outstanding bilateral relations that exist between the two nations, downplaying possible negative effects from the recent Imia crisis.
He also said Washington had high regard for both President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and Premier Costas Simitis, both of whom he said are scheduled to begin official visits to the United States this spring.
 ReppasAthens, 17/2/1996 (ANA)
Asked to comment on a White House statement calling for co-operation between the security forces of both countries following Thursday night's failed rocket attack against the US Embassy in Athens, Mr. Reppas said:
"The (security) services of the two countries have continuous and uninterrupted co-operation... in order to combat terrorism, just as the Greek services have co-operation with the services of other countries."
 Opposition reactionsAthens, 17/2/1996 (ANA)
All Greece's opposition parties came out with strong condemnation of the terrorist attack.
"We denounce in the strongest terms the terrorist attack against the US Embassy in Athens. It is a provocative act that aims to hurt the country's interests," main opposition New Democracy (ND) party deputy and press spokesman Vassilis Manginas said.
The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) issued an announcement saying "the government must finally take decisive measures and turn its investigations to those mechanisms which encourage such actions and have connections to foreign centers and secret service s. The failure to arrest suspects from 1974 to now cannot be explained in any other way."
Coalition of the Left and Progress president Nikos Constantopoulos said the terrorist attack "burdens the political climate and creates important side-effects, which affect both the internal political situation and our foreign policy."
 Imia helicopter raisedAthens, 17/2/1996 (ANA)
The helicopter that cost three men their lives during the recent tension in the Aegean was retrieved yesterday from the sea-bed off the coast of Imia, and was found to have perforations in the rear right and lower external part of the fuselage, the Hellenic Navy General Staff announced yesterday.
The fuselage was transported to a laboratory in the Salamina anchorage.
 Opposition calls for resignationsAthens, 17/2/1996 (ANA)
New Democracy party spokesman Vassilis Manginas called for resignations from the government.
"We consider as self-evident, and expect the immediate submission of resignations at a political level, if those who govern still possess a trace of shame and a sense of elementary political responsibility".
He charged that the three officers were sent on a death mission at 3:30am on the night of the crisis, when an agreement for disengagement had already been arrived at, and that the government had desperately tried to hide the truth for several days.
Political Spring party spokesman Notis Martakis said the revelation of the cause of the loss of the helicopter created a major political problem for the government, which was compromised and answerable to the Greek people.
"Elementary political sensitivity and sense of honor dictate the resignations of those responsible," he added.
 Arsenis meets with expatriate Greek representativesAthens, 17/2/1996 (ANA)
National Defense Minister Gerassimos Arsenis expressed his conviction yesterday that "the dynamic campaign to enlighten international public opinion on Greek positions will be very constructive."
He made the statement following a meeting on recent developments in Greek-Turkish relations with the presidium of the World Hellenism Council (SAE).
Mr. Arsenis said the meeting was "useful".
Council Chairman Andrew Athens said he was satisfied with the briefing and stressed the faith and hope of expatriate Greeks in the Greek army.
 Development minister to draft support programme for Aegean islandsAthens, 17/2/1996 (ANA)
Following the inclusion of the islands of Lesvos, Hios, and Samos in the special programme of support for industrially declining regions, announced Tuesday, Development Minister Vasso Papandreou announced yesterday she would undertake an initiative to d raw up a comprehensive programme of support for the Aegean islands, and especially the Dodecanese.
She said this would concern the agricultural, light manufacturing and tourist sectors, and would be implemented in co-operation with other competent ministries.
Referring to the islands of the northern Aegean, Ms Papandreou said employment in light manufacturing and industry had fallen by 48 per cent in the last 5 years.
"For this reason," she said, "the first priority of the development ministry is support to islands of the northern Aegean, as employment in the Dodecanese was noted to have increased by 3 per cent. This does not mean we have forgotten the Dodecanese."
"The government from now on will be closer to the border islands, not because it simply is a must, but because this is required by the national interest," she added.
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