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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 97-05-07

Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN,

Greek Press & Information Office
Ottawa, Canada
E-Mail Address: grnewsca@sympatico.ca


CONTENTS

  • [01] Inflation continues downward course, Papantoniou says
  • [02] ND, DHKKI statements
  • [03] Annual US-Greek talks on defense co-operation get under way
  • [04] Municipal dues for some businesses to fall, others to rise
  • [05] Naval exercise in Cyclades
  • [06] Gov't says no internal objections on substance concerning Greek-Turkish relations
  • [07] G. Papandreou meets with Turkish counterpart
  • [08] DHKKI
  • [09] US reaction
  • [10] Composer Theodorakis hospitalized for tests
  • [11] Athens to get electric-powered buses
  • [12] International conference on the image of Athens through history
  • [13] Interpol conference focuses on crimes against children
  • [14] Prefects refuse to follow circular on political offices' incompatibility
  • [15] Former king denies he planned a 1975 coup
  • [16] Rallis comments
  • [17] British ambassador says Parthenon Marbles rightly kept in London
  • [18] Kaklamanis comments on importance of BSEC
  • [19] Greek Europarliament VP criticizes Santer on equality issue
  • [20] Air Greece acquires another airplane
  • [21] Gov't delegation unveils measures for Perama shipyards
  • [22] Energy conservation program in public buildings cited
  • [23] Greek company defends genetically altered tomato products
  • [24] Turnover, prices buoyant on the Athens Stock Exchange
  • [25] Municipal dues for some businesses to fall, others to rise
  • [26] Two new museums planned for northern Greece
  • [27] Participating nations at World Athletics Championships reach 154
  • [28] Israel includes 11 Greeks among the Righteous

  • [01] Inflation continues downward course, Papantoniou says

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    Inflation fell to below the 6.0 per cent mark in April, while tax revenues marked an impressive rise, according to a statement by National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou yesterday after his regular briefing of Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

    The minister said that positive tendencies that had appeared earlier in the year were being confirmed, and that the government was "steadily following the course mapped out". He added that the budget was being adhered to, while European Union funds were being absorbed at a satisfactory rate. Mr. Papantoniou said existing structural problems within the Greek economy would be dealt with within the framework of "social dialogue" to begin on May 14 between unions, employers' representatives and the government. With regard to the social security system, the minister said that no decisions would be taken without "social consensus".

    Mr. Papantoniou said the exact inflation rate would be announced in the next few days and would be below 6.0 per cent.

    According to sources, inflation in April fell to 5.8 per cent from 6 per cent in March, raising hopes that the government's target of 4.5 per cent for 1997 can be attained.

    Mr. Papantoniou said also there was a good possibility that the balance of payments would be "much better than what we estimated up to now", since the figures from the customs authorities and the National Statistics Service (ESYE) were much improved compared to the foreign exchange figures of the Bank of Greece.

    Finance Under-secretary George Drys also briefed the prime minister on progress in the collection of income tax.

    Speaking to the press after the meeting, Mr. Drys expressed satisfaction with the current rate of public revenue collection.

    [02] ND, DHKKI statements

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    Commenting on Mr. Papantoniou's statements, the main opposition New Democracy party's spokesman, Aris Spiliotopoulos, said "the fact that the Greek economy is ailing is apparent from the recommendations of the International Monetary Fund and its observations, particularly for the social security system and for pensions."

    Mr. Spiliotopoulos added that true convergence will only be achieved through speedy development, brave privatizations and a reduction of deficits.

    "The Greek economy's structural problems are being dealt with by a drastic reduction of the extent of the public sector's anti-productive and bureaucratic mechanisms and not with additional taxes," he said.

    A Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) announcement said Mr. Papantoniou's announcement "concern the economy of another country and not of Greece."

    "Mr. Papantoniou's... euphoria regarding the state of the Greek economy would cause hilarity if they didn't concern thousands of workers who are being increasingly driven to poverty," the announcement said.

    It also spoke of increasing unemployment, the closure of productive units and the destruction of the welfare state.

    [03] Annual US-Greek talks on defense co-operation get under way

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    The annual US-Greece defense co-operation conference began yesterday in Crete with a discussion of military supplies and the two countries' relations with the Balkans and the southeastern Mediterranean, issues of particular interest to the United States.

    The US delegation is led by Principal Assistant Deputy Secretary of Defense Jan Lodal, with the participation of US State Department southern bureau chief Carey Cavanaugh and other military and diplomatic officials.

    At a joint press conference on Monday night, Defense Under-secretary Dimitris Apostolakis, heading the Greek side, reiterated that under no circumstances would Greece agree to discuss issues affecting its national integrity or independence. Nor would Greece discuss disarming its air force planes in flights over the Aegean "as it is an area linking national territory, while for the Turkish planes the issue was quite different" said Mr. Apostolakis, recommending the Papoulias-Yilmaz memorandum drawn up in Athens in 1988 as a good basis for reducing tension.

    Mr. Lodal expressed agreement with the latter recommendation, although he said it would be extremely difficult to resolve the problem of flights over the Aegean "as there is very little room between national and international air space".

    The closed-door meeting is being held on four levels. First the delegation leaders' meeting, followed by the joint working group on political issues, then a meeting of the working group on security issues. The final phase is a meeting of the defense industry co-operation committee.

    Mr. Apostolakis, Mr. Lodal and Mr. Cavanaugh were taken yesterday on a helicopter flight over Gavdos, a small island near Crete which had been subject to claims last year by Turkey.

    However, Mr. Apostolakis said the issue had not been on the agenda of yesterday's meeting, which he concentrated on all issues related to Greek-American relations and defense in the eastern Mediterranean.

    "It would be ridiculous to discuss Gavdos. I'm taking them over the island so they can see just how close it is to Crete."

    Mr. Cavanaugh told the press that the Cyprus issue had been discussed at yesterday's meeting, as it concerned the US as well as Greece.

    Speaking at the meeting, National Defense Under-secretary Dimitris Apostolakis expressed certainty that the discussions will be substantive and sincere as well as cover the entire spectrum of issues concerning the two countries' relations and interests.

    Mr. Apostolakis referred to the further development of defense co-operation between Greece and the United States, expressing the wish that this co-operation will continue.

    "We are linked by common targets and visions, such as determination to maintain the status quo in the region of the Balkans and the southeastern Mediterranean, while Greece constitutes a strong pole of stability and peace in this region from which the corridors of paramount geostrategical interests pass," he said.

    "Our position is that the architecture of security and stability which has been shaped in northern and central Europe must also be extended to the south so that traditionally unstable regions can ultimately live under conditions of security. The EU, the WEU, and NATO, of course, all these organizations in operating in a supplementary fashion have a great deal to contribute in this direction and Greece participates actively in developments taking place," he added.

    Mr. Apostolakis also referred to NATO's expansion, saying that Greece believes that Russia's positions and concerns must be taken into consideration and that NATO's enlargement cannot leave out Balkan countries.

    He said that according to the agenda agreed upon, issues concerning an assessment of the security situation in the region will be referred to during the discussions, adding that the Greek delegation will attend the talks with goodwill.

    [04] Municipal dues for some businesses to fall, others to rise

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    Municipal dues imposed on the gross revenues of restaurants and confectioneries, whose products are sold and consumed either in the shops or in packages, will decrease from 5 per cent to 2 per cent, while the system will be extended to other businesses involved primarily with tourist items and to the organized sections of supermarkets.

    In parallel, the cost of entertainment will increase since municipal dues imposed on music halls, night clubs, cabarets and dancing halls will be up to 8 per cent. This agreement is being promoted by the interior, public administration and decentralization ministry following a proposal by the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece, KEDKE, and a dialogue with the representatives of the unions of such outlets.

    "The settlements are aimed at resolving a long-standing problem concerning disputes between local administration bodies and businesses, as well as at a balanced allocation of dues between businesses with similar activities," Interior Minister Alekos Papadopoulos said.

    Mr. Papadopoulos said that these settlements will not have a retroactive nature and businesses obliged to pay business dues with the present status will have to pay off their debts to local administration organizations, otherwise processes anticipated by existing legislation will be initiated against them.

    [05] Naval exercise in Cyclades

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    The Hellenic Navy will begin a small-scale tactical exercise codenamed "Astrapi '97" today.

    The exercise will be carried out in the Cyclades with the participation of four frigates, two destroyers and a submarine. National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos will observe part of the exercise today from the frigate "Adrias".

    [06] Gov't says no internal objections on substance concerning Greek-Turkish relations

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    There are no objections about the substance of the government's policy on Greek-Turkish relations, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said yesterday replying to reporters' questions on a ruling PASOK party executive bureau discussion on the issue.

    Sources said Education Minister Gerassimos Arsenis and two other members of the executive bureau expressed serious reservations about the effectiveness of the government's recent handling of Greek-Turkish relations.

    According to the same sources, Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos assured the executive bureau members at Monday's four-hour meeting that the government's strategy on Greek-Turkish relations remained unchanged.

    "Within the framework of discussions by party and government bodies, different views are expressed which, however, relate to specific aspects of (the government's) handling," Mr. Reppas said.

    The government's policy, he added, is in line with what it has announced and promotes national interests.

    Greece on Monday named professors Krateros Ioannou and Argyris Fatouros as members of the Greek "committee of experts" who, along with a corresponding Turkish committee, will examine Greek-Turkish relations with the mediation of the European Union's Dutch presidency.

    Athens has said that the task of the committee, whose nature is procedural, is to submit a report by mid-June containing the common positions and proposals of the two sides, provided agreement is reached on certain points.

    Asked yesterday about the role of the experts and the deadline for the completion of their work, Mr. Reppas said "no strict and specific" time framework had been decided. The spokesman said that the "thoughts" of the experts will be made known to the two governments and the Dutch presidency.

    Mr. Reppas reiterated that the experts' thoughts would not be binding, "since they will not be working at the dictation of the two governments nor on their instructions, but will relate to procedural matters with the aim of approaching problems which exist in relations between the two countries and finding ways and methods to tackle them". Replying to other questions, Mr. Reppas said the aim of the government was not only to highlight Turkish intransigence but also constituted a sincere effort to deal with the problems.

    Revealing Turkey's intransigence and aggressiveness to the extent that the neighboring country continues not to respect international law and international treaties will be the least benefit for Greece, Mr. Reppas said.

    The greatest benefit, he added, will be "to approach and resolve issues on the basis of Greece's interests".

    [07] G. Papandreou meets with Turkish counterpart

    Strasbourg, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    In a related development, Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou met here yesterday with his Turkish counterpart Onur Oymen, on the sidelines of a Council of Europe ministerial summit.

    The meeting, at which both sides confirmed their willingness for the committees of experts to begin operating, was described as informal.

    According to the dispatch, Turkey's representatives on its committee of experts will be Sukru Eletag, a former foreign ministry general secretary and Suat Bilg, a former ambassador.

    Mr. Papandreou also met with new Cypriot Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides, who briefed the Greek minister on his meetings with various foreign officials and particularly on his meeting with his French counterpart.

    Mr. Cassoulides said he believed that the move to establish committees would contribute to the creation of a positive climate, regardless of the outcome.

    [08] DHKKI

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas in a statement yesterday asked the government to brief Parliament on recent developments in Greek-Turkish relations and the situation concerning the Greek economy.

    "We call on the government of the so-called modernizes to brief Parliament and the Greek people at the earliest concerning its behind-the-scenes handling of national issues and to stop the dialogue of substance with Turkey as well as its efforts to paint a rosy picture of the national economy," Mr. Tsovolas said.

    The DHKKI leader accused the government of using "secret diplomacy" to reach "unacceptable and detrimental" solutions to national issues.

    [09] US reaction

    Washington, 07/05/1997 (ANA - T. Ellis)

    The United States yesterday welcomed the forming of a "committee of experts" from both Greek and Turkey in order to discuss relations between the two countries. During the US-European Union conference on fostering trans-Atlantic relations, Deputy US Secretary of State Strobe Talbott referred extensively to the role he said Turkey has to play in a "united Europe".

    Mr. Talbott also strongly defended Turkey's participation in the EU. He expressed the understanding of the US for reactions to the violation of human rights in Turkey and problems with Greece, but added that "these difficulties do not make Turkey any less European. In fact, many EU members have overcome far greater traumas in this century - and that's putting it mildly."

    He went on to say that the US "welcomes the forming, just last week, of a committee of experts which will look into the issues which have caused so much tension between Greece and Turkey."

    [10] Composer Theodorakis hospitalized for tests

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    Composer Mikis Theodorakis, who suffered respiratory problems after a concert in Berlin two days ago, was admitted to the Athens Medical Center yesterday for a series of medical tests.

    According to informed sources, Mr. Theodorakis' illness is apparently due to anemia, which he has been suffering from in recent months.

    Members of the composer's family say he has been depressed over the death a few months ago of his brother Yiannis, and that his condition worsened during preparations for a concert tour of Europe.

    According to a medical bulletin issued yesterday by his physician, Ioannis Iordanoglou, Mr. Theodorakis was hospitalized "in order to undergo thorough tests".

    Dr. Iordanoglou said the composer will remain in hospital for a few days in order to undergo general and pulmonary tests. He is most likely to be discharged on Friday.

    "I am not concerned with anything in particular as the first results have not shown anything of concern," he said. "We must probably connect the current problem with the tuberculosis Mikis Theodorakis suffered from for many years ago. The tiredness he f eels is normal and some possible irregularities are the result of his age."

    Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos yesterday visited composer the composer at the hospital.

    Mr. Venizelos described him as being "an ambassador for Hellenism throughout the world".

    Mr. Theodorakis' doctors told Mr. Venizelos that the composer's health is at a good level, while results of the tests he underwent are good.

    [11] Athens to get electric-powered buses

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    Ten electric-powered buses will be put into service in the Greek capital in February next year, Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos announced yesterday on the occasion of a European conference on renewable energy sources.

    The three-day European Congress on Renewable Energy Implementation was inaugurated on Monday by Development Minister Vasso Papandreou.

    At noon yesterday, members of the environmental organization "Greenpeace" presented an electric-powered vehicle in the center of Athens.

    The vehicle was also driven by Greece's EU Energy Commissioner Christos Papoutsis, under whose auspices the congress is being held.

    Built by Greek scientists at the Center for Renewable Energy Sources, the vehicle operates on batteries which must be recharged every 10 hours.

    With a maximum range of 100 kilometers on fully-charged batteries, the vehicle can reach a top speed of 70kph.

    [12] International conference on the image of Athens through history

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    The University of Athens and the Germany-based Winkelman Society are organizing an international conference entitled "The Image of Athens from Antiquity until Today", due to open tomorrow.

    The society is named after Johann Joachim Winkelman, a forerunner of archaeological research on Crete.

    The conference will discuss Athens' classical antiquity, the Hellenistic and Roman era, Byzantium and the Ottoman occupation, as well as the 19th and 20th centuries.

    The conference is to be attended by Greek and German researchers.

    [13] Interpol conference focuses on crimes against children

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    An Interpol conference being held in Thessaloniki on crimes against children yesterday discussed the proliferation of child pornography through the Internet.

    Police are proposing to set up a special network in cyberspace in order to deal with the problem, said Anne Chrisine Olsen, president of Interpol's permanent working group concerning crimes against children.

    According to the meeting, child pornography on the Internet usually takes the form of the electronic transmission of photographs or short films, while on occasions, meetings are set up with young children. During his speech at the conference, the Secretary General of the Public Order Ministry, Ioannis Papadogiannakis, said no organized child pornography rings have been found in Greece, although isolated instances of abuse by parents appear to be on the increase.

    Mr. Papadogiannakis stressed that Greek police are cooperating with Interpol in efforts to combat child pornography.

    [14] Prefects refuse to follow circular on political offices' incompatibility

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    Elected prefects in the country are refusing to implement a circular by Prime Minister Costas Simitis on the incompatibility of holding the position of prefectural secretary general and running for Parliament.

    Speaking during the Union's extraordinary general assembly, convened to state its position on the regional administration bill yesterday, ENAE President Evangelos Kouloumbis said the settlement is unconstitutional.

    Mr. Kouloumbis attributed what he called the "mistake" "to all those who proposed this settlement and not to the prime minister", adding that "incompatibility cannot be set for prefects and not for mayors at a time when the former mayor of Lamia, Lambros Papadimas, is interior under-secretary."

    [15] Former king denies he planned a 1975 coup

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    Ex-king Constantine yesterday denied accusations contained in excerpts of former president of the republic Constantine Karamanlis' soon to be released archives that he had planned a coup in 1975, one year after the monarchy was officially abolished by a referendum following seven years of military dictatorship.

    The archives are to be released for publication this week.

    The former king denied the claims in a written statement issued by his London office, which said "the democratic beliefs of 'King Constantine' require no confirmation."

    The statement added that the former monarch reserved the right to "correct the various inaccuracies of the belated archive revelations..."

    "Politicians and systems of government come and go, but national disasters remain irreparable," the statement added.

    On the question of the ex-king's meeting with former Greek premier George Rallis in London, he said that the former informed him that the British government had information of the possible danger of the Greek political regime being overthrown, the prime minister being assassinated, etc. The announcement also says that the ex-king met the then British prime minister James Callaghan, who categorically denied the reports and informed him that the origin of the reports was in Greece and that the British government had refused to give any continuation to the issue.

    [16] Rallis comments

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    In response, Mr. Rallis yesterday commented on the statements. Referring to their meeting in London in 1976, Mr. Rallis said the former monarch's "memory appears to be beginning to fade".

    He said he met the ex-king in London following reports obtained by the government that monarchists were planning a coup.

    Mr. Rallis added that the British ambassador in Athens had also condemned the event, following an order issued by the British government.

    Mr. Rallis said the ex-king denied the reports of a conspiracy and "was furious about the lies which were being told".

    According to reliable sources, former premier and president Karamanlis replied to the statements by the former king, stating that "the archives state with precision, clarity and objectivity the facts of a historic period.

    "This report, which constitutes the truth, cannot be distorted or changed by unsubstantiated claims, particularly when the Greek people have categorically decided on these issues." Circles close to Mr. Karamanlis said late last night that this reply could be issued as an official announcement.

    President of the New Democracy party Costas Karamanlis yesterday approved new appointments to the party's organizational departments.

    [17] British ambassador says Parthenon Marbles rightly kept in London

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    British Ambassador to Athens Michael Llewelyn Smith said yesterday that "there may be a discussion on the future of the Elgin (Parthenon) Marbles, but they are rightly where they are now."

    The ambassador made the statement during a scheduled visit to Larisa, where he met with local officials.

    Sir Michael reiterated the statement by the British home secretary that the Parthenon Marbles are better cared for in London's British Museum.

    [18] Kaklamanis comments on importance of BSEC

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis yesterday said Greece attributed great importance to the future prospects of the Black Sea Economic Co-operation pact.

    Addressing the 14th meeting of the presidium of the organization's Parliamentary Assembly (PABSEC), which was held in Athens under Greek presidency, Mr. Kaklamanis said the BSEC had an immense strategic, economic and cultural interest and prospects for the peoples in the region.

    He assured the meeting of Greece's participation in procedures aiming at a peaceful, creative and better future for the region, while stressing Greece's role as the link between the European Union countries and the BSEC.

    Specifically, he referred to the Black Sea Co-operation Bank and its future role in the region. The Thessaloniki-based bank was inaugurated recently.

    Concluding, Mr. Kaklamanis briefed the PABSEC's presidium of his invitation to the president of the Europarliament to attend the sessions of the parliamentary assembly for the BSEC, to be held in Athens in June.

    [19] Greek Europarliament VP criticizes Santer on equality issue

    Brussels, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    The Greek Vice-President of the European Parliament, George Anastasopoulos, lashed out against European Commission President Jacques Santer yesterday, accusing him of limited progress in the issue of equality between the sexes, during a Europarliament session yesterday.

    Mr. Anastasopoulos was commenting on an announcement put out by Mr. Santer regarding Commission activities on the issue.

    "Has Mr. Santer realized how limited this progress is in relation to the problem's dimensions?" Mr. Anastasopoulos said.

    "Even in Europe, where women in decision-making centers account for more than 50 per cent, progress is very limited," he added, urging for more ground-breaking measures.

    According to Mr. Anastasopoulos, women deputies account for 6.3 per cent in the Greek Parliament, whereas in France and in Britain they account for 6.4 per cent and 9.5 per cent, respectively. Mr. Santer admitted that pro-gress had not been satisfactory but stressed the issue of reforms in the IGC agreements, designed to bring about greater equality between the sexes.

    [20] Air Greece acquires another airplane

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    Speaking at a press conference in Thessaloniki yesterday, the chairman of the private airline Air Greece announced that the company has acquired a third 70-seat turbo-prop "ATR 72" aircraft.

    The plane is of the same type as the airline's other two aircraft and was acquired last month. It will be named "Macedonia" and will be based at Thessaloniki's airport.

    "Following the complete deregulation of air transport in the European Union as of April 1, we are all called on to face a new situation in the sector," Constantinos Bandouvas said.

    He said the company's economic results were "outstanding" in 1996, adding that the company's two aircraft carried 258,618 passengers and its turnover amounted to 3.5 billion drachmas.

    [21] Gov't delegation unveils measures for Perama shipyards

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    A government delegation yesterday presented measures for the viability of the Perama area shipyards, as well as a brief report on its activities over the past two years.

    The measures were presented in a tense atmosphere in Perama, where attending workers shouted slogans against ministers.

    Perama Mayor Yiannis Patsilinakos and the president of the Metal Syndicate, Iordanis Pountidis called for a clear time-frame for the measures.

    They also requested explanations as to who will undertake the shipyards' modernization and reduction of unemployment, which has greatly affected the sector in recent years.

    The measures include the entry of the yards into the "Business Program for Industry" and the EU initiative on small- and medium-sized enterprises.

    They also include the introduction of incentives for the building of new technology ships, creation of a register of businesses and of workers.

    [22] Energy conservation program in public buildings cited

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Under-secretary Tasos Mantelis called for co-operation of ministries, regions and prefectural self-administration bodies for implementation of a program on conserving energy in public buildings.

    The program can be financed by third parties or through leasing.

    According to a relevant circular, Mr. Mantelis' target is the utilization of techniques on conserving energy and the use of moderate forms of energy which will lead to a decrease in operational costs in public sector buildings and contribute to environmental protection.

    Mr. Mantelis said that financing for energy conservation programs can be obtained from third parties, leasing or with other "modern ways of financing."

    [23] Greek company defends genetically altered tomato products

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    The technical director of the Zenka Hellas company, which researches and produces genetically altered tomato products, said yesterday that "consumers are in no danger from the consumption of tomato paste or puree which has been produced by genetic alteration."

    The company made the statement during a press conference held following reactions, after the Zenka Hellas received approval from the environment ministry for a trial cultivation of genetically altered tomatoes.

    According to British bio-technology professor Nigel Pool, genetic alteration means that "the fruit is able to remain on the stalk for longer without rotting. The result is that the genetically altered tomato develops natural aroma, taste and all those ingredients which by its nature the tomato loses when it is cut earlier."

    The United States, Canada, Mexico and Britain have issued permits for the production and commerce of genetically altered tomatoes.

    [24] Turnover, prices buoyant on the Athens Stock Exchange

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    The volume of trade on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) has seen a dramatic rise in the first four months of the year, with turnover activity improving more than 100 percent over the same period last year.

    At the same time, there has been a significant increase in stock prices, according to initial reports from the ASE.

    The latest figures show turnover in January-March reaching 938 billion drachmas, in comparison to 444 billion drachmas in the same period last year, an increase of 111.31 percent.

    Sources at the bourse are calling the first quarter "the golden quarter", despite the fact that in February the steady increase was abruptly interrupted, with a subsequent slide in stock prices.

    The biggest gains during the period were noted in telecommunications and bank shares. Hotels and wine and beverages, on the other hand, lost their footing.

    The bourse's positive prospect, as well as the fall in inflation (which is predicted at 5.8 percent in April) and interest rate cuts, are creating a positive climate for investors.

    [25] Municipal dues for some businesses to fall, others to rise

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    Municipal dues imposed on the gross revenues of restaurants and confectioneries, whose products are sold and consumed either in the shops or in packages, will decrease from 5 per cent to 2 per cent, while the system will be extended to other businesses involved primarily with tourist items and to the organized sections of supermarkets.

    In parallel, the cost of entertainment will increase since municipal dues imposed on music halls, night clubs, cabarets and dancing halls will be up to 8 per cent. This agreement is being promoted by the interior, public administration and decentralization ministry following a proposal by the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece, KEDKE, and a dialogue with the representatives of the unions of such outlets.

    "The settlements are aimed at resolving a long-standing problem concerning disputes between local administration bodies and businesses, as well as at a balanced allocation of dues between businesses with similar activities," Interior Minister Alekos Papadopoulos said.

    Mr. Papadopoulos said that these settlements will not have a retroactive nature and businesses obliged to pay business dues with the present status will have to pay off their debts to local administration organizations, otherwise processes anticipated b y existing legislation will be initiated against them.

    [26] Two new museums planned for northern Greece

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    Two new big museums are to be built in northern Greece, it was announced in Alexandroupolis yesterday by Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos.

    The announcement was made at the beginning of a tour by the Central Archaeological Council of the prefectures of Evros, Rhodopi, Xanthi and Thasos. An archaeological museum is to be built in Alexandroupolis and a Byzantine museum in Didimoticho.

    Meanwhile, the Council's plans for the region include restoration work on the ancient theater on the island of Thasos, budgeted at 400 million drachmas, and to repair the second basilica at the ancient site of Philippi. In addition, extensions are to be made to the Komotini archaeological museum at a cost of one billion drachmas.

    [27] Participating nations at World Athletics Championships reach 154

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    The number of countries participating in the sixth World Athletics Championships taking place at the Athens Olympic Stadium over the first 10 days in August has reached 154, after the Palestinian self-rule authority notified the organizing committee of it s participation.

    El Salvador will participate with one athlete in the marathon race; Colombia with four male and six female athletes, and Yugoslavia with six men and three women.

    The organizers of the World Athletics Championships consider certain that the number of countries participating in the event will exceed 191.

    [28] Israel includes 11 Greeks among the Righteous

    Athens, 07/05/1997 (ANA)

    Eleven Greek citizens from all walks of life, who risked their lives to save Jews threatened with deportation to concentration camps during the Nazi occupation of Greece were awarded the "Righteous among Nations" medal at a ceremony in Athens on Monday.

    The awards were bestowed by Israeli ambassador in Athens Ran Curiel on behalf of the Israeli government, who said that the Israeli institution Yad Va'Shem founded "with the aim of perpetuating the memory of the victims of the Holocaust, bestows the title

    'Righteous among Nations' on this group of chosen Greek citizens who saved their Jewish fellow citizens, during the dark period of Nazi occupation."

    Some of the awards, the highest honor awarded by Israel to foreign citizens, were bestowed posthumously. Among those awarded was renowned Greek author Alexis Parnis, who risked his life and that of his family by hiding a Jewish family in his home until Greece's liberation.

    Mr. Curiel said that a film documenting the rescue of Jews by Greeks was being completed at the present time. "The rescuers in many cases say: 'We did nothing,' and the survivors say: 'It was everything'," he said. "The name of the film will be 'We did nothing - It was everything'."

    End of English language section.


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