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A.N.A. Bulletin, 28/02/96

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

Athens News Agency Directory

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 824), February 28, 1996

Greek Press & Information Office

Ottawa, Canada

E-Mail Address:


  • [1] Pangalos says binding Italian presidency statement an expression of solidarity with Greece

  • [2] Pangalos responds to opposition criticism

  • [3] Reppas responds

  • [4] Athens 'satisfied'

  • [5] Kouris 'not surprised' at EU behavior

  • [6] Opposition

  • [7] Greece condemns suicide bombings in Israel

  • [8] Commissioner van den Broek tries to calm tempers

  • [9] Ankara satisfied

  • [10] Vance chairs discussions on FYROM name issue

  • [11] Germany supports 'safety clause' on border security, official says

  • [12] Russian Patriarch seeks to smooth tensions with Ecumenical Patriarchate

  • [13] Papandreou recuperating well, doctors say

  • [14] Inner cabinet reviews progress of major projects

  • [15] Opposition reaction

  • [16] Inner cabinet approves Rion-Antirrion contract

  • [17] ANA begins talks with Cyprus News Agency on co-operation agreement

  • [18] Greece, Poland discuss defense issues

  • [19] Hytiris, George Papandreou interviews

  • [20] Spanish conference to examine Modern Greek studies

  • [21] Soccer Pools launch new game

  • [22] Greek film picks up Berlin Film Festival award

  • [23] Finance ministry issues new bill series

  • [24] Tzoumakas, Fischler confer on farming issues

  • [1] Pangalos says binding Italian presidency statement an expression of solidarity with Greece

    Athens, 28/02/1996 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos said yesterday that the EU, apart from the United Kingdom, was bound by the text issued by the Italian presidency regarding Greek-Turkish relations and that it was an expression of solidarity with Greece.

    Speaking on his return from attending the EU Council of Ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday, Mr. Pangalos said that Britain's retraction of its previous agreement on the text provoked the indignation of the other 14 countries.

    The foreign minister stated that no-one in the EU doubts that the Imia incident constituted a territorial claim by Turkey against Greece. He added that Turkish aggression concerns the EU and affects its relations with Ankara.

    European Union Council of Ministers President Susanna Agnelli said on Monday in Brussels that EU foreign ministers agreed that Greek-Turkish differences should be resolved only by law and, consequently, the International Court at The Hague.

    Mr. Pangalos characterized the EU's stance on the matter as a very positive development for Greece. He said a particularly important fact was that the specification of Turkey's customs union agreed upon on March 6, 1995, will be discussed at the next European Council, during which Ankara will have to clarify its position.

    Until then, Mr. Pangalos said, Greece will freeze Community financial aid to Turkey "because it is not possible for the customs union to proceed while Turkey attacks Greek islands."

    The foreign minister considers that the EU has ceased to hold equal distances between Greece and Turkey, and is suggesting solutions to differences on the basis of international law and recourse to the International Court in The Hague.

    Mr. Pangalos added that despite Greece's goodwill gesture to lift the veto on Turkey's customs union with the EU, Turkey still violated the agreement, by "upsetting the good relations of the associated country with a member-state of the European Union."

    For this reason, continued Mr. Pangalos, Greece will not allow the customs union to proceed before Turkey eliminates this new doubt or seeks recourse to The Hague.

    [2] Pangalos responds to opposition criticism

    Athens, 28/02/1996 (ANA)

    Referring to criticism expressed by main opposition leader Miltiades Evert on the prime minister's tour of three European capitals, Mr. Pangalos said that the main opposition party leader appeared to be glad of the difficulties the government is facing and disappointed by its successes. He accused New Democracy of using criticism to win votes.

    Responding to opposition criticism, Mr. Pangalos added that Mr. Simitis was planning to visit Ireland, in view of its assumption of the EU presidency, as well as other smaller countries.

    Replying to Mr. Pangalos' statements, New Democracy spokesman Vassilis Manginas said that "Mr. Pangalos ought to realize that he is repeating the mistakes of the night of the Imia crisis now on a purely diplomatic level."

    Former prime minister Constantine Mitsotakis visited Mr. Pangalos in his office last night to discuss recent developments in the Greek-Turkish crisis and the statement issued after the EU Council of Ministers.

    [3] Reppas responds

    Athens, 28/02/1996 (ANA)

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas dismissed New Democracy party criticism of Greece's performance at the Council of Ministers' meeting in Brussels.

    "Many forecast and expected Greece's isolation. This not only did not happen, but Greece secured the agreement of all member-countries except one, in a framework of positions very near Greek ones. And this has self-evident political significance.

    "New Democracy is accusing the government prompted by an opposition sense of 'duty', distorting the truth, and concealing the fact that never before have we had a repeated stand by our partners on respect for international law and making use of the role of the International Court at The Hague," he said.

    Mr. Reppas also denied claims that the Council discussed the issue of the financial regulation concerning the granting of 375 million ECU from the European Union to Turkey.

    [4] Athens 'satisfied'

    Athens, 28/02/1996 (ANA)

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said yesterday Athens was satisfied at the positions expressed by the EU Council of Ministers on Monday, sharing Greece's position regarding Turkey's expansionist designs in the Aegean and agreeing that the issue should be referred to the International Court at The Hague.

    Mr. Reppas said it was the first time the European partners had shared Greece's positions that Turkey's expansionist designs in the Aegean was an issue of International law and as such could be referred to the International Court at The Hague.

    He said that the government would have been more satisfied if the Italian presidency's statement had been a Council of Ministers decision.

    [5] Kouris 'not surprised' at EU behavior

    Athens, 28/02/1996 (ANA)

    Commenting on the results of the EU minister's meeting, National Defense Under-secretary Nikos Kouris stressed that many were not surprised by the EU's behavior.

    "Our friends, our partners in the European Union function often, or I could say always, with the logic of equal distances and if I want to be more cynical, on the basis of economic and other interests," he told the press yesterday.

    Mr. Kouris stressed that "Greece's security and peace and stability in the region is in our hands." Until the EU forms a common foreign policy and policy of security and defense, Greece must not depend on others, he said.

    [6] Opposition

    Athens, 28/02/1996 (ANA)

    The main opposition New Democracy party issued an announcement yesterday criticizing the government of a "series of huge mistakes which has led the country to a painful defeat".

    The ND announcement said that the EU foreign ministers avoided endorsing "Greece's just positions" while "supporting the views of Turkey, which is not even a member of the European Union."

    It further added that "the prime minister ignored Italy, currently holding the EU presidency, and Britain in his first European tour, despite delicate balances in the European Union."

    ND said the "firm and positive statements of the European leaders during (ND leader) Miltiades Evert's visit to Strasbourg have been ignored or canceled out by the government," adding that the government "accepted the existence of territorial differences with Turkey and even went on discussing ways to solve them." ND said it was not bound by this position.

    The party further accused the government of "transforming Greece's firm position for a one-tier Europe" and of having committed itself to a two-tier Europe, at the same time adding that the course of a Cyprus-EU accession was undermined "since for the first time the accession is linked to the completion of the EU-Turkey customs union."

    "The road has opened for Turkey to arbitrarily raise issues, cause problems and then seek their solution through dialogue and without a specific agenda," the announcement said. "In this way, Greece is used to serve certain European political goals in Turkey."

    Replying to the accusation that the government has committed itself to a two-tier Europe, Mr. Reppas said "nothing is further from the truth".

    He noted that after Mr. Simitis' meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene and European Commission President Jacques Santer, the prime minister had said that convergence must be achieved in order for there not to be a two-tier Europe. Mr. Reppas also accused ND of "allying itself to lies" and of exercising "current opposition for mass consumption".

    When asked to comment on the decision taken by the Council of Ministers, former prime minister Constantine Mitsotakis said "our country is totally right against Turkey, but this does not mean that the road we have to travel down is strewn with rose petals. What is needed is stability and, simultaneously, self-restraint and responsibility from everyone."

    Political Spring leader Antonis Samaras issued a written statement on the decision, characterizing it as "the Waterloo of government handling".

    Mr. Samaras estimates that the resolution "rewards Turkish aggression, with the reconfirmation of the EU's aim to reinforce Turkey economically as soon as it forms a government, regardless of its behavior against a member-state of the 'Union'!"

    The statement issued by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) on the subject says that "not only do the EU and the Western European Union (WEU) not safeguard the country's interests in the least, but they also constitute a great threat as they ensure, with all means possible, the interests of their multinational and industrial bankers in the region."

    The KKE suggests the government and other parties accept its proposal for the holding of a referendum on the Maastricht treaty.

    Coalition of the Left and Progress President Nikos Constantopoulos stated that developments in the Council of Ministers were negative for Greece, and added that Greece is right and cannot constantly be blackmailed through "holding Cyprus hostage."

    It went on to say that Turkey is provoking international law and cannot constantly be encouraged by the EU's hypocritical stance, which denies basic community solidarity.

    [7] Greece condemns suicide bombings in Israel

    Athens, 28/02/1996 (ANA)

    Greece yesterday categorically condemned the two suicide bombings which killed 25 people on Sunday in Israel, and expressed condolences to the families of the victims.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said he hoped that the parties involved would arrive at "the necessary conclusions" and put an end to the cycle of violence in the region.

    [8] Commissioner van den Broek tries to calm tempers

    Brussels, 28/02/1996 (ANA - G. Daratos, M. Savva)

    External Relations Commissioner Hans van den Broek yesterday attempted to temper the negative impressions caused by the failure of Monday's Council of Ministers meeting to adopt a common statement on the Greek-Turkish crisis.

    Speaking to reporters yesterday, Mr. van den Broek said matters were not as bad as certain circles wanted to present them.

    The statement on the Greek-Turkish crisis which did not ultimately receive endorsement by the Council of Ministers might not have legal validity and, consequently, a binding nature, but continued to maintain its political significance in its entirety, he said.

    Replying to questioners on whether the text announced by the Italian presidency on Greek-Turkish affairs was binding for all Union partners later yesterday, Italian foreign minister and president of the Council of Ministers Susanna Agnelli said: "The (European) Union's presidency is the presidency of the '15'."

    In response to the same question, Mr. van den Broek made the following statement:

    "The fact the presidency makes a statement constitutes a real political event and I believe that this problem can be resolved in a political way. We regret that tempers have been frayed but I personally fully understand this situation on the part of Greece. However, now is the time to work for the creation of peace and friendly relations in the region. I hope that soon the situation will be clarified more and that we will abstain from the use of force."

    Mr. van den Broek said earlier that Greece had no reason to be displeased by the development of the Council of Ministers' work because there was no real problem without a solution.

    He said that for this reason the Greek government should proceed with calm towards the Council of Ministers on March 25 which would prepare the Community's Association Council with Turkey on the next day, March 26, and examine as of now ways and alternative solutions, which certainly existed, to approach the entire issue of Turkey's customs union with the Community.

    [9] Ankara satisfied

    Istanbul, 28/02/1996 (ANA)

    Ankara expressed its "satisfaction" over Monday's decision by the Council of Ministers concerning Turkey's customs union with the European Union.

    An announcement by the Turkish foreign ministry said that Greece "despite its efforts" did not find the support it expected from EU member-states at Monday's meeting.

    "We view with satisfaction the decision taken by the 14 member-states of the EU, which expressed their commitment to their obligations towards Turkey in the framework of customs union," the announcement said, adding that "we expect the EU to take the necessary decision as soon as possible on implementing economic co-operation anticipated by customs union."

    [10] Vance chairs discussions on FYROM name issue

    United Nations, 28/02//1996 (ANA - M. Georgiadou)

    Representatives of Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) held 90-minute talks under the sponsorship of UN representative Cyrus Vance. Speaking to reporters afterwards, Mr. Vance said "we have just completed a full discussion since early in the morning. We had a wide and very interesting discussion."

    He said negotiations would resume in mid-April. Neither FYROM representative Ivan Tosevski or Greece's permanent representative to the UN, Christos Zacharakis, made any comments after the meeting.

    [11] Germany supports 'safety clause' on border security, official says

    Bonn, 28/02/1996 (ANA- P. Stangos)

    Permanent Foreign Under-secretary Hans-Dietrich von Pletz yesterday assured an all-party Greek parliamentary delegation, headed by parliament Vice-President Pafsanias Zakolikos, that Germany would support the inclusion of a "safety clause" guaranteeing the borders of the member-states of the European Union in the revision of the Maastricht treaty at the inter-governmental conference (IGC) in Turin next month.

    Mr. von Pletz was also reported as saying that, regarding the Imia islets issue, "things were clear" in favor of Greek positions from the legal point of view, but the political dimension of the problems also had to be dealt with.

    "I know international law and the Law of the Sea," he was quoted as saying, "and the legal aspect of the issue is in favor of Greece..."

    The problem, he continued, was how one dealt with the political issue of Turkish fears of exclusion, without circumventing the principles of international law.

    "Turkey is a big and dynamic power, and is concerned," he was quoted as saying, adding that for this reason, from the point of view of the EU, "the appropriate way of handling the matter had to be found".

    He said Germany desired the inclusion of the "safety clause" in the framework of steps promoting the defense dimension of a common external and defense policy. The same subject was also tackled during last week's talks between Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

    The matter, which has been included as a Greek request in the final text of the Study Group for the IGC, was brought up at the security conference in Munich at the beginning of the month.

    [12] Russian Patriarch seeks to smooth tensions with Ecumenical Patriarchate

    Moscow, 28/02/1996 (ANA - D. Constantakopulos)

    Patriarch Alexios II of Moscow and All Russia yesterday expressed the hope that difficulties in relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople would be overcome to prevent further aggravation of the tension between the two Orthodox patriarchates.

    "There is no schism, but there are certain difficulties and serious obstacles in the relations between the patriarchates," Alexios said in an exclusive interview with the Athens News Agency (ANA) correspondent in Moscow.

    The tension arose after the Ecumenical Patriarchate's Holy Synod decided to honor a 1923 decision founding the autonomous Estonian Orthodox Missionary Church as the "Orthodox Metropolitan of Estonia". The Estonian Church was recognized as an autonomous church in 1923 under Patriarch Meletios but was forcibly abolished when Stalin annexed Estonia to the Soviet Union after World War II.

    Talks between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Moscow Patriarchate, initiated after political authorities and the Orthodox Estonians called for implementation of the 1923 decision, fell through in early February, and the Holy Synod went ahead with implementation of the 1923 decision to avert Orthodox Estonians, who do not want Moscow jurisdiction in their independent country, turning to Protestant dogmas.

    Alexios expressed the hope that "steps will be taken immediately by both sides (Patriarchates) to prevent aggravation of the discord". He said he would do his "utmost to preserve the unity of the Church, which is necessary to confront the difficulties it faces today".

    The Patriarch reiterated that the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is the "first among equals... and the Russian Patriarchate has no claims whatsoever on advancing its rank".

    Meanwhile, reliable sources said "intensive mediation efforts" were taking place to defuse the tension between the two patriarchates and to "find a solution acceptable to both sides regarding the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Estonians".

    Efforts were also being made, the same sources said, so that the issue would not adversely affect the excellent relations between the Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches.

    [13] Papandreou recuperating well, doctors say

    Athens, 28/02/1996 (ANA)

    Ruling PASOK party founder and leader Andreas Papandreou's recovery was continuing without any particular problems, a medical bulletin issued by the Onassion Cardiosurgery Centre said yesterday, the 100th day of the former premier's hospitalization.

    Mr. Papandreou underwent dialysis treatment, the bulletin said, while a series of tests would begin today to determine the state of his respiratory and renal functions with a view to the patient's release from hospital. Mr. Papandreou's attending physicians look to Saturday, March 2, as the most likely date of his release, although there is a possibility his hospitalization could be extended into the coming week.

    [14] Inner cabinet reviews progress of major projects

    Athens, 28/02/1996 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis chaired an inner cabinet meeting yesterday on the course of major projects.

    Speaking to the press after the three-hour meeting, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said the major projects under development amounted to 2 trillion drachmas.

    He added however that greater efforts were necessary in the field of public works in order to achieve better coordination and more efficient administration of Community funds.

    The inner cabinet also agreed to establish an interministerial group to examine alternative sources of funding in order to achieve the unhindered completion of the projects.

    It further decided that the Major Projects Committee expand its activities to include smaller projects.

    According to the spokesman, the inner cabinet will convene again to follow up the implementation of yesterday's decisions.

    The meeting was attended by National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis, Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, Finance Minister Alekos Papadopoulos, Development Minister Vasso Papandreou and Alternate Foreign Minister George Romeos.

    [15] Opposition reaction

    Athens, 28/02/1996 (ANA)

    The main opposition New Democracy (ND) party said yesterday that only 276 billion drachmas of EU moneys (or 36 per cent) were absorbed, instead of the 765 billion drachmas which had been originally foreseen.

    According to ND, the delays are due to conflicts in contractors' interests as the government has promised that 20 per cent of shares will not be registered under a particular name.

    "The lead role in the delay of absorption of EU funds is held by the industry ministry when Costas Simitis was the responsible minister," the statement said.

    A statement by the Political Spring party said that "the major projects constitute the shot in the arm urgently required by the national economy."

    "Incomprehensible handling and delays have resulted in a new negative European record - the reduction by 64 per cent in the absorption of EU funds, with proportional consequences on development and employment," the statement added.

    [16] Inner cabinet approves Rion-Antirrion contract

    Athens, 28/02/1996 (ANA)

    Yesterday's inner cabinet meeting decided that the contract for construction of the Rion-Antirrion bridge would be submitted to Parliament today, while the successful bidder for the Stavros-Elefsina Athens north circular highway will be announced in the next few days.

    The meeting also discussed alternative funding required for completion of the Egnatia highway across northern Greece, and the Patra-Thessaloniki-Bulgarian border highway.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said a ministerial committee would be set up to examine the matter.

    [17] ANA begins talks with Cyprus News Agency on co-operation agreement

    Athens, 28/02/1996 (ANA)

    Talks began yesterday in Athens on an all-level co-operation agreement between the Athens News Agency (ANA) and Cyprus News Agency (CNA). Taking part in the discussions are CNA Chairman of the Board Anthos Lykavges and Director Andreas Christofides, and ANA General Director Andreas Christodoulides. The co-operation agreement, to be signed at the end of the talks , will include an exchange of news items, photos, technology, and joint coverage of the Middle East. During their stay here Mr. Lykavges and Mr. Christofides will also meet with Press and Media Minister Dimitris Reppas and the board of directors of the Athens Union of Journalists (ESHEA).

    [18] Greece, Poland discuss defense issues

    Athens, 28/02/1996 (ANA)

    National Defense Under-secretary Nikos Kouris and Polish Alternate Defense Minister Andrei Karkorska held discussions yesterday on the situation in the Balkans, the recent Greek-Turkish stand-off in the Aegean over the Imia islets, the situation in the region around Poland and that country's desire to accede to European security organizations such as the Western European Union (WEU).

    The two men also discussed a military co-operation programme presented by the Greek side providing for a series of staff member exchanges.

    Mr. Kouris said after the meeting that the two sides agreed that any territorial differences should be settled on the basis of international law, UN resolutions and existing treaties.

    Mr. Karkorska said the preservation of peace and stability in Europe was an "important and vital" issue, adding that his country was in favor of maintaining the status quo and stability. "We desire that everything achieved to date should be preserved," he added.

    Asked to comment on NATO's reactions to the recent tension in Greek-Turkish relations, Mr. Karkorska said that NATO had reacted as expected. "The unity of its members is a very important matter for NATO," he said, adding that "various actions have been taken so that the conflict will not be extended or aggravated".

    He reiterated his country's desire for membership of NATO and European security organizations, adding that Greece supported his country in that effort.

    The Polish alternate defense minister is to visit Greek Defense Minister Gerassimos Arsenis tomorrow, and will visit the 114th Fighting Unit in Tanagra and the Hellenic Aerospace Industry.

    [19] Hytiris, George Papandreou interviews

    Athens, 28/02/1996 (ANA)

    In an interview with the newspaper Ethnos yesterday, former press minister and government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris said that theoretically PASOK party president Andreas Papandreou could return to the premiership, and that "parties go into elections headed by their presidents".

    Referring to the possibility of the premier and the party Vice-President being different persons, Mr. Hytiris said this was an open matter, adding that such an arrangement had been successfully tested in Europe.

    Commenting, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said that the next elections would take place at the end of 1997, and that PASOK was united and would remain so until then.

    In another interview yesterday, Education Minister George Papandreou told daily Ta Nea that "it would be wrong to go into an 'electoral' party congress where there would be a struggle for redistribution of power inside the party".

    Asked whether the party would go into the next election headed by the prime minister, Mr. Papandreou said "we should not begin by a priori casting doubt on the prime minister".

    "If something goes wrong, there are always democratic procedures," he added.

    [20] Spanish conference to examine Modern Greek studies

    Athens, 28/02/1996 (ANA)

    A conference on the subject of "Modern Greek studies and the Modern Greek language in the Spanish-speaking world" is to be held in Granada, Spain, February 29 to March 3, it was announced yesterday.

    The conference is organized by the Granada University's Modern Greek Department, with the support of the Greek Cultural Foundation and the co-operation of the Greek Embassy in Madrid.

    Some 50 experts from Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Greece are due to participate.

    The conference will focus on modern Greek language and Greek culture-related issues as these are developed in Spanish-speaking countries. It will further focus on prospects and the finding of more efficient ways to present modern Greek studies in these countries.

    [21] Soccer Pools launch new game

    Athens, 28/02/1996 (ANA)

    The Greek Soccer Pools (OPAP) is launching a new game this Sunday with high expectations of success, OPAP's management announced yesterday.

    To win at the OPAP game, entitled Propo-Goal, a punter would have to pick eight football games out of a total of 30 where the most goals are scored. Three categories of winners will be paid: eight-game winners, seven-game winners and those picking a minimum of six games.

    When no eight-game winners are found, a large portion of the money bet is held over the next issue, while winnings under 300 drachmas are not paid.

    [22] Greek film picks up Berlin Film Festival award

    Athens, 28/02/1996 (ANA)

    The Greek feature film "A Drop in the Ocean" was awarded a prize yesterday at the Berlin Film Festival.

    The film was the only one out of 40 films shown at the festival which garnered the Mionetto-Spumante 1996 Award.

    A Drop in the Ocean is directed by Eleni Alexandrakis.

    [23] Finance ministry issues new bill series

    Athens, 28/02/1996 (ANA)

    The finance ministry will float a new series of state treasury bills tomorrow, with an interest rate of 13.40 per cent, down 0.40 per cent from the previous issue and in stark contrast to the 17 per cent carried by bills issued in February last year.

    The finance ministry's decision to issue a new series of bills was based on the state's considerable available funds (in the region of 1,300 billion drachmas) as well as the strong demand for bonds -particularly those of a seven-year duration - seen during recent tendering when they had a basic interest rate of 13.80 per cent.

    Decreases in the interest rates of state treasury bills during the January 1995-February 1996 period were 4.4 percentage points (from 17.5 per cent to 13.10 per cent), for 12-month bills, 3.8 percentage points (from 16.5 per cent to 12.70 per cent), for six-month bills and 3.25 percentage points (from 15.75 per cent to 12.50 per cent) for three-month bills.

    The reduction in the interest rates of state securities is part of the government's economic policy as set out in the state budget and supported by the fiscal programme announced by the Bank of Greece.

    This policy is aimed at creating a stable economic framework with a long-term perspective which will include fiscal restructuring, a decrease in inflation and a gradual decrease in deposits and loans interest rates to create funds for productive investments and business initiatives by the private sector.

    A further decrease in inflation, set to drop to five per cent by the end of the year, depends on the consistent implementation of the stabilizing economic and monetary policy and a number of other factors concerning the economy's entire structure, such as an increase in productivity in the labor cost sector and absolute confidence in the local currency.

    The continuation of the stabilizing programme and adjustment to economic indicators anticipated in the revised convergence programme constitute the basis for economic development together with necessary structural changes.

    [24] Tzoumakas, Fischler confer on farming issues

    Brussels, 28//02/1996 (ANA)

    Agriculture Minister Stephanos Tzoumakas and European Union Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler yesterday discussed issues relating to milk quotas, feta cheese, cotton and tobacco, and European agriculture in general.

    Concerning controls on tobacco subsidies, Mr. Tzoumakas proposed that Greece pay six billion drachmas, representing returns for exports in the 1985-1991 period.

    Regarding milk quotas, Mr. Tzoumakas said Mr. Fischler accepted there was a problem, because many countries were asking for increases in the quotas, but there was no possibility of meeting these demands.

    Mr. Fischler said he would soon ask the Council of Agriculture Ministers to change the system, and would present his final proposal on the issue, after consulting with all member countries.

    End of English language section.

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