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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 97-05-14

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

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


Greek Press & Information Office
Ottawa, Canada
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  • [01] IGC dominates Simitis' talks in Luxembourg
  • [02] Cyprus
  • [03] Tsohatzopoulos stresses common European defense policy after WEU session
  • [04] Pangalos-Cook meeting
  • [05] Ciller comments on Greek-Turkish relations
  • [06] Cyprus issue, IGC discussed by Kranidiotis in Britain
  • [07] Russia has crucial role to play in Cyprus issue, Kranidiotis says
  • [08] Greek, FYROM reps meet with UN mediator Vance in NY
  • [09] Gov't spokesman on revision of Constitution
  • [10] Athens condemns Turkish plans to strengthen occupation forces in Cyprus
  • [11] US State Dept. denies reports of agreement on air corridors over Aegean
  • [12] ND's Karamanlis sets conditions for Greek-Turkish dialogue
  • [13] Conference focuses on racism
  • [14] Karamanlis' 12th volume to be officially unveiled today
  • [15] Reactions
  • [16] ND response
  • [17] Gov't, opposition comment before start to 'social dialogue'
  • [18] Marathon to cover classical route for IAAF World Championships
  • [19] IOC delegation from Dominican Republic visits Athens Olympic Stadium
  • [20] Greece sends more aid to Iran
  • [21] Stephanopoulos on Thrace visit
  • [22] Tsohatzopoulos guest of honor at FPA luncheon
  • [23] Kaklamanis sends message to Iran
  • [24] Orthodox Metropolitan of Austria responds to reports of Vatican-Patriarchate summit
  • [25] Patriarch of Alexandria to begin tour of several African states
  • [26] Anglican delegation visits Patriarchate
  • [27] Transport minister meets with SAE presidium
  • [28] Europarliament adopts report on protection of codified transmissions
  • [29] Athens to host Balkan chamber meeting
  • [30] European Court to rule on cheaper imported secondhand cars later this month
  • [31] Greek sponsors of business congress in Bulgaria
  • [32] Finance ministry takes action against tax evasion
  • [33] Current accounts balance in the red during January
  • [34] Kakavia border post shut
  • [35] Greek consulate in Gjirokaster closed again today
  • [36] New rates for state treasury bills
  • [37] Xiosbank slashes interest rates
  • [38] AGET-Heracles exhibits art collection in Thessaloniki

  • [01] IGC dominates Simitis' talks in Luxembourg

    Luxembourg, 14/05/1997 (ANA - M. Spinthourakis)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis held talks yesterday with his Luxembourg counterpart Jean-Claude Juncker on issues concerning the institutional reform of the European Union in view of the intergovernmental conference (IGC).

    The purpose of Mr. Simitis' visit was to exchange views with the government of Luxembourg, which will take over the rotating EU presidency after the current Dutch rotating presidency.

    Mr. Simitis' two-hour meeting with Mr. Juncker also focused on the course towards monetary union, concerning which the Luxembourg premier described as "impressive" the policy of economic rehabilitation and stabilization being implemented by the Greek government.

    If the economic convergence program is strictly adhered to, Mr. Juncker said, Greece will be ready to meet the criteria set by the Maastricht Treaty in 1998.

    Mr. Simitis said no distinction should be made between the group of countries which will participate from the outset in the single currency and those states which will join later.

    The Greek premier said Mr. Juncker agreed with this position.

    On institutional reforms, the two sides noted an identity of views, particularly regarding the position that each member-state should contribute one Commissioner.

    Commenting on Greek-Turkish relations, Mr. Juncker said the Luxembourg presidency would, if it deemed necessary, continue the mediating effort of the present Dutch presidency for the normalization of relations between Athens and Ankara.

    Mr. Simitis reiterated the Greek government's position that Turkey should conform to the rules of international law and have recourse to the International Court at The Hague if it believed it had any claims against Greece.

    Replying to questions, Mr. Juncker said that as provided by the Maastricht Treaty in order to qualify for the single European currency, an applicant country does not have to fully meet the numbers but to ensure a trend for constant improvement towards the economic criteria.

    Mr. Simitis said prerequisites for the single European union should remain the same adding that entry procedures for the first EU member states should be consolidated and apply to the remaining countries.

    The two prime ministers also discussed the issue of the European Union enlargement and in particular economic assistance to economically weaker EU members.

    Mr. Simitis said that enlargement should not take place at the expense of cohesion funds for the financially weaker EU countries, adding that the issue will be discussed by the Council of Ministers in the second six month part of the year.

    "This is an important issue and the fact that it has not been raised by the bigger countries signifies perhaps that they might want to create certain faits accomplis," he said.

    [02] Cyprus

    Luxembourg, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    Speaking on the Cyprus issue, Mr. Juncker said his country believes negotiations for the island's entry into the EU should begin, as already decided, simultaneously with entry negotiations for central and eastern European countries. He added that the procedures for Cyprus' entry should not be connected to "political conditions", nor should they be delayed for such reasons.

    Speaking to the press, the Greek premier reiterated Greece's positions on EU relations with Turkey, noting that based on the Council of Ministers' decision of July 15, 1996, Turkey must make certain statements which "will lift the existing reservations on their part," while it must also conform to international law and must recourse to the International Court at The Hague if it believes it has demands from Greece.

    Referring to the Balkans, Mr. Simitis stressed the importance of EU intervention in the region and the need for a common EU policy.

    Mr. Simitis was due to return to Athens late last night.

    [03] Tsohatzopoulos stresses common European defense policy after WEU session

    Paris, 14/05/1997 (ANA - Y. Zitouniati)

    Summing up the results of the West European Union's (WEU) Council of Foreign Affairs and Defense Ministers' session, concluded here last night, National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said it was a very important meeting on Europe's common defense policy.

    He said the new element is that it is not merely a new relationship between the WEU, the European Union and NATO, but the shaping of new improved preconditions with which the WEU will be able to operate as a defense arm for the EU with NATO's resources.

    The meeting in Paris was the confirmation of this step, he said, adding that with the reformulation of the relevant clause in the final proclamation of the session, the associate members of the WEU, such as Turkey, can participate in operations and specific decisions but without exceeding the status defining their relations with the organization. The reformation of the specific clause which Turkey was promoting in agreement with other European countries took place at a Greek initiative.

    He said the issue concerns the operation of the WEU. Europe must clarify that joint decision taking on certain issues of an operational nature cannot change the status of relations between countries and each organization. He further said that many issue s creating confusion will be resolved substantively with the Intergovernmental Conference.

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, who participated in the joint press conference, appealed to Greek deputies to participate voluntarily as observers in elections in Albania and Algeria, since the Greek foreign ministry wants 200 experienced observers each for elections to be held in the two countries.

    [04] Pangalos-Cook meeting

    Luxembourg, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    Mr. Pangalos also described his meeting last night with British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook as being "particularly interesting".

    "Labor, in contrast with the Conservatives, are not setting the resolution of the Cyprus problem as a condition for Cyprus' entry into the EU," he said.

    "Mr. Cook assured me that he will shortly undertake an initiative in this direction."

    On the sidelines of the WEU conference, Mr. Pangalos also met with his Dutch counterpart, Hans van Mierlo, and expressed the view that in the "committee of experts" for Greek-Turkish relations, it is preferable for the members to submit written proposal s rather than to meet, and for them to proceed if some development is ascertained.

    Speaking to reporters, he said "tensions and incidents between the two countries must be avoided, and this should be realized by both peoples, who do not have hostile relations between them. Within this framework, chance meetings between the ministers of the two countries help this climate."

    [05] Ciller comments on Greek-Turkish relations

    Luxembourg, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    On her part, Turkish Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller characterized Greek-Turkish problems as being of a "psychological nature", and said she was optimistic that the work of the recently formed "committee of experts" would be fruitful.

    Speaking to reporters yesterday, Ms Ciller said the two countries had similar cultures and that their peoples had much in common, adding that the "biggest bilateral problem was the two countries' politicians".

    The Turkish minister expressed the belief that there was a lack of dialogue, and that with more contact, the easier it would be to overcome problems, particularly psychological ones.

    Mr. Pangalos met briefly with his Turkish counterpart Ciller on the sidelines of the West European Union meeting.

    According to diplomatic sources, the meeting occurred with other ministers present, was of a social nature and no substantial issues were discussed.

    Speaking to Turkish reporters later, Ms Ciller said she agreed with Mr. Pangalos to promote dialogue, leaving open the possibility of a committee of experts meeting on June 15 or by the end of the month.

    According to reports, Greek-Turkish issues are to be discussed in Athens during a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Costas Simitis to be held on Thursday, with the participation of the foreign and defense ministries.

    [06] Cyprus issue, IGC discussed by Kranidiotis in Britain

    London, 14/05/1997 (ANA - L. Tsirigotakis)

    Foreign Under-secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis met here yesterday with British Foreign Secretary responsible for European issues, Douglas Henderson, in what was the first official meeting between a Greek government official an d the new Labor government.

    The two discussed the Cyprus issue, the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC), Greece's initiatives in view of the IGC in June and new prospects for co-operation between the governments of Greece and Britain.

    Mr. Kranidiotis noted that the climate on the Cyprus issue was very positive.

    "I have ensured Mr. Henderson's clear assurance that the Labor government will now implement the pre-election positions they stated regarding the Cyprus issue."

    Speaking on prospects for expanding bilateral co-operation, Mr. Kranidiotis said: "I am sure... that we will co-operate closely, both within the socialist European party and the European Union, and on a bilateral basis

    [07] Russia has crucial role to play in Cyprus issue, Kranidiotis says

    Moscow, (ANA - D. Constantakopoulos)

    Shortly before leaving for London and after talks with his Russian counterpart Aleksandr Avdeyev, Mr. Kranidiotis said Russia could play a "balancing" role in relation to other initiatives and proposals aimed at finding a settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    He described the seven points of a Russian proposal on the Cyprus problem as "welcome" and expressed hope that a settlement would be found within the next two years "particularly in view of the opportunity provided by the negotiations for Cyprus accession to the European Union which will be beneficial to both communities on the island". Mr. Kranidiotis warned however that if no viable solution was found, it would be difficult for any improvement in Greek-Turkish relations to be attained.

    "But this does not mean that efforts should not be made in this direction," he added.

    The Russian proposal was put forward at the end of April during a meeting of the UN Security Council's permanent members in New York. According to the proposal, the Cyprus solution should ensure the establishment of a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation which safeguards the existence of one independent and territorially integral state, with a single sovereignty, international status and citizenship. In his talks in Moscow at the head of a Greek delegation, Mr. Kranidiotis discussed the Cyprus problem, the entire spectrum of bilateral relations and Greek-Russian co-operation in the Balkans.

    The Russian side accepted in principle an invitation for Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin to visit Greece, with both sides agreeing efforts should be made for the visit to take place in the autumn.

    During the talks, both sides ascertained a high degree of convergence with respect to their positions and interests in the region of the Balkans.

    [08] Greek, FYROM reps meet with UN mediator Vance in NY

    United Nations, 14/05/1997 (ANA - M. Georgiadou)

    Representatives from Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) met in New York on Monday with UN mediator Cyrus Vance, a UN announcement said. Greece was represented by its permanent representative to the UN, Christos Zaharakis, while Ambassador Ivan Tosevski represented FYROM.

    They have agreed to meet again on June 9 in order to continue their talks and to appraise the situation, the announcement added.

    [09] Gov't spokesman on revision of Constitution

    Athens, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said yesterday the government has almost completed preparatory work for revising the Constitution, which will be in accordance with PASOK's pre-election announcements. He said the process will be completed very soon and relevant announcements will be made. Replying to a question, Mr. Reppas said proposals will be made by parties and a dialogue will follow and expressed a wish for a coincidence of views to be reached on the revision.

    [10] Athens condemns Turkish plans to strengthen occupation forces in Cyprus

    Athens, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    Greece yesterday described as "provocative and particularly harmful" statements by a Turkish general who announced the strengthening of Turkish occupation forces on the divided island of Cyprus.

    General Cevik Bir, second-in-command at the army's General Command, made the statements during a visit to the Turkish-occupied northern part of the island republic at the weekend.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said that "at the present moment in time, when efforts are being made aimed at attaining some understanding, particular care is required".

    Mr. Reppas called on all parties interested in stability prevailing in the region to "condemn and marginalize such statements which cause increased tension and seriously harm an issue which has remained outstanding for years".

    Asked about the possibility of an extension of the moratorium on the flights of Greek and Turkish military aircraft over the Aegean, Mr. Reppas said an agreement may be reached for the moratorium to be extended from the present two months in the summer to three months.

    Mr. Reppas however did not rule out the possibility of an agreement for the extension of the moratorium to four months.

    [11] US State Dept. denies reports of agreement on air corridors over Aegean

    Washington, 14/05/1997 (ANA - T. Ellis)

    The United States yesterday denied reports that there is an agreement between Greece and Turkey for Athens to cede air corridors in the Aegean to be used by Turkish aircraft.

    US State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said "the talks we had last week with the Greek defense ministry in Crete covered a broad range of bilateral issues, as always occurs."

    "We were surprised by certain publications in the Greek media which claimed there was an agreement between Greece and Turkey at last week's meeting for the creation of air corridors over the Aegean, or that discussions involved a proposal for Greek aircraft to fly over the Aegean without equipment. These publications are incorrect."

    [12] ND's Karamanlis sets conditions for Greek-Turkish dialogue

    Athens, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Costas Karamanlis yesterday set three prerequisites as a firm condition for Greece entering into any dialogue with Turkey.

    Speaking to reporters after a meeting of the party's Executive Committee, Mr. Karamanlis said the three prerequisites were respect for territorial integrity and sovereign rights, respect for international law and international treaties, and Ankara's lifting of its threat of force against Greece.

    Turkey's failure to accept these three prerequisites, Mr. Karamanlis said, meant that any process of dialogue would run the risk of resulting in "new concessions or a dangerous crisis".

    "For these reasons, the government ought to clarify its stance and brief the Greek people about what is going on and also about its intentions," Mr. Karamanlis said.

    The main subject of discussion at yesterday's Executive Committee meeting was Greek-Turkish relations, Mr. Karamanlis said.

    "We are concerned because we see the government slipping into a dialogue, without conditions, without prerequisites, without an agenda and without objectives. And moreover, using its favorite method of supposed leaks, by which it aims to prepare public opinion for new concessions. This is not responsible foreign policy," Mr. Karamanlis said.

    [13] Conference focuses on racism

    Athens, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    The New Generation General Secretariat will hold a conference at the foreign ministry between May 15-17 on "Immigrants, Racism and Xenophobia - Greek and European Experience on Discriminations", with the co-operation of the Greek Center of European Studies and Research, the Greek Union for the Rights of Man and the Marangopoulou Foundation.

    [14] Karamanlis' 12th volume to be officially unveiled today

    Athens, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    Former president of the republic Constantine Karamanlis released the 12th volume of his archives yesterday, which contain criticism against PASOK founder and late prime minister Andreas Papandreou as well as former premier Constantine Mitsotakis.

    All 12 volumes will be officially presented at the Athens Concert Hall this evening.

    In the 12th volume, which covers the period between 1985-1995, Mr. Karamanlis accuses Andreas Papandreou of deceiving him, saying that despite Papandreou's assurances, the PASOK founder did not nominate him for president in 1985, at the last minute nominating Christos Sartzetakis.

    In Mr. Karamanlis' view, Andreas Papandreou had indisputable abilities which, however, were based on "demagoguery and hypocrisy", accusing him of taking harmful decisions for the country with the purpose of achieving his own international promotion.

    Referring to Mr. Mitsotakis, Mr. Karamanlis said their relations were never at a good level, adding that he nominated him for president of the republic in 1990 because he had no other choice.

    Commenting on former foreign minister Antonis Samaras, currently the leader of the Political Spring party, Mr. Karamanlis said that during Mr. Samaras' tenure at the foreign ministry Greece's relations with all its Balkan neighbors deteriorated.

    Mr. Karamanlis also referred to foreign policy issues, such as Greek-Turkish relations, the Cyprus issue and the issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

    [15] Reactions

    Athens, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    The publication of the 12th volume of Mr. Karamanlis' archives drew strong reaction from the ruling PASOK party and PASOK Secretary Costas Skandalidis, who referred to falsification of the country's modern history.

    Mr. Skandalidis said it is not by chance that this effort is taking place at a time when the country is making a great effort and a major leap forward. He said the Greek people have both memory and judgment.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said the government considers the Karamanlis archives to be a version of history from one source. He said the government and PASOK honor the memory of Andreas Papandreou for his considerable contribution for Greece to acquire a new image, adding that at the events to take place on the occasion of the first anniversary of his death, Prime Minister Costas Simitis will be one of the main speakers.

    On his part, Mr. Samaras said he ascertains with regret that Mr. Karamanlis continues his silence and that even today he has not publicly clarified whether or not he accepts the use of the name "Macedonia" in any way concerning the name of FYROM.

    [16] ND response

    Athens, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    Several high-ranking cadres of the main opposition New Democracy party commented yesterday on the archives of party founder and former president of the republic Karamanlis

    ND deputy and former minister Athanasios Tsaldaris pointed out that Mr. Karamanlis had been the most prominent figure in the country's political life over the last 40 years.

    "What is being published are his actions, judgments... and thoughts. Any admiration, judgments or criticism should be made by historians of the future. ND, which he himself founded as a multifaceted party, contains various trends and preferences... We all look ahead to the future, in order to rid the country of the whirlwind created by PASOK that has brought about dangerous dead-ends in the economy and foreign policy," said Mr. Tsaldaris. Others, such as Petros Molyviatis and George Souflias, stressed that the archives are only concerned with the past, the latter adding that the issue had done no harm to the party.

    [17] Gov't, opposition comment before start to 'social dialogue'

    Athens, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    Speaking to reporters a day before the beginning of "social dialogue", government spokesman Dimitris Reppas urged yesterday for good will, saying the government desired co-operation and understanding.

    He also lashed out against those who refused to enter talks with the government.

    "It is a paradox," Mr. Reppas said, "to participate in consultations with the EU Economic and Social Committees while at the same time refusing to participate in talks in your own country," he noted.

    In the first phase of talks, dialogue will be focused on issues related to employment, competitiveness and development.

    Meanwhile, main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis said that he would support the social dialogue as long as "it is conducted on an equal basis, it is substantive, sincere and complete."

    He said the agenda did not include important and crucial issues, such as the growth aspect of economic development, great structural changes, especially in the direction of privatization and the need to ensure social protection and the battle against unemployment.

    Earlier in the day, ND deputy and former minister Stephanos Manos sent a letter to the prime minister and participating fora, saying that the "social dialogue will have a meaning and a substance only if it is able to bring about state reforms based on the new reality.

    "It is not just a matter of items on the agenda," Mr. Manos said. "Weaknesses must also be discussed, such as size, intervention and operation of the state, which are the source of problems," he added.

    In a related development, the Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) issued an announcement, yesterday, stressing the importance of a "substantive and credible social dialogue."

    [18] Marathon to cover classical route for IAAF World Championships

    Athens, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    Television networks from around the world have expressed interest in the Athens '97 IAAF World Championships marathon course, which will cover the classical route from Marathon to the center of Athens - reputed to be one of the most difficult marathon courses in the world.

    For the first time in World Championship history, the finish line for the event will not be in the main stadium. Athletes will finish their race in the Panathenian Stadium, in which the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896.

    Representatives from many networks are currently visiting Athens in order to become acquainted with the route.

    [19] IOC delegation from Dominican Republic visits Athens Olympic Stadium

    Athens, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Napoleon Munoz Pena and IOC Dominican Republic President Jose Puegio yesterday visited the facilities of the Athens Olympic Stadium, accompanied by members of the committee dealing with Athens' bid for the 2004 Olympic Games.

    Mr. Pena expressed his satisfaction over the facilities, and requested additional information concerning their construction and transportation facilities.

    [20] Greece sends more aid to Iran

    Athens, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    The health and welfare ministry said yesterday it was sending urgent humanitarian aid to quake-stricken eastern Iran, including medical supplies, 200 tents and 500 blankets.

    The ministry added that it was conferring with the foreign ministry to arrange for the dispatch of the aid by chartered flights.

    The foreign ministry said on Monday that it would be sending 20 tons of medical and other aid this week to Iran, where an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale devastated the country's eastern region, killing at least 1,560 people and leaving thousands homeless.

    [21] Stephanopoulos on Thrace visit

    Athens, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos yesterday began a two-day visit to Thrace in order to attend celebrations today for the 77th anniversary of its liberation from Bulgarian rule.

    During his visit to the Kastanies post on the Greek-Turkish border, in a symbolic gesture, he greeted both the Greek guards and the Turkish guards at their watchtowers, after an invitation by a Turkish official.

    "I would like to wish for there to be a period of peace and friendship between the two countries (Greece and Turkey)," he said, "and of the two peoples, which is completely desirable on our side, without that meaning, of course, that we have any inclination to back down on our rights."

    Mr. Stephanopoulos is also due to visit Alexandroupoli today, where he will attend a school and military parade to mark the anniversary.

    [22] Tsohatzopoulos guest of honor at FPA luncheon

    Athens, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos will be the guest speaker at a luncheon to be given in his honor by the Foreign Press Association of Greece at the Grande Bretagne hotel on Tuesday, May 20 at 1.00 p.m.

    The event comes at a crucial time for relations between Greece and Turkey and shortly after Mr. Tsohatzopoulos' return from a conference of the Western European Union in Paris. It will be Mr. Tsohatzopoulos' first meeting with the foreign press in At hens since he took over as defense minister. The minister will also answer questions by journalists.

    [23] Kaklamanis sends message to Iran

    Athens, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis yesterday sent a telegram to his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Natek Nouri, expressing his deepest regrets at the catastrophic earthquake which has killed and injured thousands of people. "I want to assure you of the Greek Parliament's wholehearted support for Iran and hope it soon overcomes the consequences of this tragic event," Mr. Kaklamanis' message read.

    [24] Orthodox Metropolitan of Austria responds to reports of Vatican-Patriarchate summit

    Vienna, 14/05/1997 (ANA - D. Dimitrakoudis) \

    The Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Austria Michael said that if an initiative is taken by the Vatican for a possible summit meeting between Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos and Pope John Paul II this June in Austria, the Phanar's response will certainly be positive.

    Metropolitan Michael returned from Istanbul on Monday, where he prepared for an official visit the Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos will pay to Austria next month.

    According to reports, the Vatican, which has been preparing a meeting in Austria between the Pope and the Russian Patriarch Alexi II for some time (a meeting expected to take place in Hungary last September was postponed at the last moment) will propose in the next few days a meeting between the pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch in Austria.

    The pope's meetings with Vartholomeos and Alexi are expected to take place separately in Vienna or some other location on the outskirts of the Austrian capital. The possibility cannot be ruled out of the three spiritual leaders praying together or officiating a church service together.

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos will be in Austria on June 17 on an official visit at the invitation of the Austrian government. He will then attend the second European Ecumenical Assembly in Graz between June 23-29.

    A meeting between the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia has been scheduled for June 20 in Vienna.

    [25] Patriarch of Alexandria to begin tour of several African states

    Alexandria, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    The new Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa Petros will begin a visit to several African countries on May 24, with Uganda as his first stop.

    The purpose of his visit is to enthrone the new Metropolitan of Kampala and all Uganda Ionas. He will also have the opportunity of meeting with local clergymen and faithful.

    On May 28, the Patriarch and his entourage will fly to the neighboring Metropolis of Kenya for an official visit. Patriarch Petros will be received by the presidents of the two countries. He will also meet the ambassadors of Greece, Cyprus, Egypt and of several predominately Orthodox countries.

    [26] Anglican delegation visits Patriarchate

    Istanbul, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    An official delegation from the Anglican Church visited the Phanar over the weekend for talks with the Ecumenical Patriarchate's relevant committee on inter-denominational issues, chaired by the Metropolitan of Ephessos Chrysostomos.

    The delegation was composed of Anglican Bishops Edward Holland and Mark Dyer, David Hamid, Dr. Richard Marsh and Dr. John Peterson.

    The members of the delegation were received by Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, while the head of the delegation delivered a personal message to the Patriarch from the Archbishop of Canterbury. On Sunday, the delegation attended a church service at the Zoodochou Pigis Valoukli monastery. Afterwards, the delegation attended an official luncheon given by the administration of the Valoukli hospitals in the Ecumenical Patriarch's honor.

    [27] Transport minister meets with SAE presidium

    Athens, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    Transport and Communications Minister Haris Kastanidis held a meeting yesterday in Thessaloniki with the presidium of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE).

    Mr. Kastanidis accepted a proposal put forth by the members of the SAE presidium to approve Olympic Airways as SAE's official sponsor, but postponed a decision for discounted tickets for SAE members, saying that "Olympic Airways is undergoing a restructuring phase."

    Mr. Kastanidis asked for a more detailed proposal on the part of the presidium and promised that this would be considered by OA's board. The president of the Parliament's interparty committee for overseas Greeks, Grigoris Niotis, meanwhile, proposed that the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) arrange for a SAE teleconference in December.

    According to Mr. Niotis, a teleconference will give the opportunity to a greater number of expatriate Greeks to participate in the meeting and proposed that all SAE regional conferences take place through teleconferences. Mr. Kastanidis accepted the request.

    [28] Europarliament adopts report on protection of codified transmissions

    Brussels, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    The European Parliament unanimously adopted a report by Europarliament Vice-President George Anastasopoulos yesterday, concerning the Commission's Green Paper on legal protection for codified transmissions or services in local markets.

    Presenting his report at a European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg, Mr. Anastasopoulos said the most suitable means for legal protection for codified services is for a directive to be proposed in the framework of which the desired convergence of divergent national legislations will be achieved better and sooner to effectively tackle piracy.

    Mr. Anastasopoulos said the continuous and more intensive use of new technologies, in conjunction with an increase in available frequencies, has led to the codification and ciphering of certain services, primarily new radio and television services, with digital programs.

    In parallel, however, an industry of manufacturers of decodification devices which have not been approved has also developed with this new market for codified and ciphered programs.

    [29] Athens to host Balkan chamber meeting

    Athens, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    Taxation and investment laws in Balkan states will be on the agenda of the general assembly of the Union of Balkan Chambers of Commerce in Athens next week.

    Participants will be representatives of chambers in Albania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Romania, Turkey, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as well as Greece.

    The agenda also includes a discussion of economic issues, the exchange of information and the organization of exhibitions. The meeting will be held on May 19 and 20.

    [30] European Court to rule on cheaper imported secondhand cars later this month

    Brussels, 14/05/1997 (ANA - P. Pantelis)

    The European Court will hear the Commission's suit against Greece for excessive charges on imported secondhand cars on May 29, and most sources in the Belgian capital say a win for the Commission is likely.

    The Commission filed suit against Greece in June 1995 for non-harmonization with EU legislation on the import of secondhand cars. Greece claims that it has imposed extra taxes on older technology cars as a disincentive because they would further harm the environment and worsen air pollution.

    The Commission however rebuts this argument by saying that negative repercussions on the environment should be countered with technical checks and not taxes.

    The final ruling is expected to be issued by the full bench of the court later this year.

    [31] Greek sponsors of business congress in Bulgaria

    Athens, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    A major Greek bank and a leading Greek construction company will be the sponsors of a two-day international congress on doing business in Bulgaria after the recent general elections, to be held in Sofia between June 4-6, it was announced yesterday.

    The congress, slated to attract foreign investors in the neighboring country, is sponsored so far by the Ionian Bank of Greece and C.J. Sarantopoulos General Contractors and will be attended by Greek industrialists and businessmen.

    The conference will place great emphasis on basic political directions for foreign policy and the economy by the new government of Bulgaria, and also the influence of the Monetary Committee appointed by the IMF, privatizations, telecommunications, public works and construction, tourism and banking system and financial services.

    The conference is held on the initiative of the international newspaper "New Europe", in co-operation with the Foreign Investment Agency of Bulgaria and organized by Global Conferences Ltd.

    [32] Finance ministry takes action against tax evasion

    Athens, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    The finance ministry has ordered the closure of four businesses for a duration of between three to 18 days and started disciplinary action against seven tax collectors on charges of bribery and negligence.

    The ministry ordered the temporary closure of four businesses accused with tax evasion. These include a restaurant in Rafina, a fur manufacturing unit in Kastoria, a fur shop in Siatista and a coffee shop in Livadia.

    [33] Current accounts balance in the red during January

    Athens, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    The current accounts balance showed a deficit of US$21 million in January this year compared to a surplus of US$363.7 million in the corresponding month of 1996, according to a statement by the Bank of Greece yesterday.

    The deterioration in the current accounts balance is the result of both an increase in the trade deficit by US$197.8 million and a decrease in the surplus of invisible transactions by US$186.9 million as against January 1996.

    Without an assessment of net fuel imports, the current accounts balance produced a surplus of US$243 million in January this year compared to a surplus of US$483.9 million in January 1996.

    The increase in the trade deficit, set at US$1.59 billion, is due to an increase in expenditure for imports by US$126.7 million (6.5 per cent) as well as to a parallel decrease in receipts from exports by US$71.1 million (-13.3 per cent). It is noteworthy that the increase in expenditure for imports comes exclusively from fuel imports which increased by US$143.2 million (92.5 per cent) compared to January 1996.

    [34] Kakavia border post shut

    Athens, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    Greek authorities were forced to close the Kakavia customs post on the border with Albania briefly yesterday because of a gunfight between two rival groups at a close distance on the Albanian side of the border.

    One injured Albanian was taken to hospital in Ioannina, northern Greece while, according to Albanians crossing into Greece, another three Albanians with gunshot wounds were taken to hospital in Gjirokaster, southern Albania.

    The reasons for the shoot-out were unknown.

    The customs post was closed during the exchange of fire for fear that somebody might be hit by stray bullets.

    [35] Greek consulate in Gjirokaster closed again today

    Gjirokaster, 14/05/1997 (ANA - P. Barka)

    The Greek Consulate in the Gjirokaster will be closed for the second day today at the request of the local police, after around 2,000 people massed outside the consulate building on Monday seeking visas to enter Greece.

    Both the university and the teachers' college have been closed for the past few days as police are unable to ensure order. Many schools in the area have also had problems such as bomb hoaxes.

    [365] New rates for state treasury bills

    Athens, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    The finance ministry yesterday announced the interest rates for state treasury bills which are valid as of today. Three-month treasury bills will have an interest rate of 8.6 per cent, six-month ones 8.9 per cent and 12-month ones 9.7 per cent.

    [37] Xiosbank slashes interest rates

    Athens, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    Xiosbank is offering new reduced loans and deposits interest rates as of yesterday.

    The Xiosbank Visa interest rate decreased by one and a half percentage points and was set at 24 per cent. The interest rate for the housing loan Xiostegi also decreased by one and a half percentage point and reached 14 per cent. The savings bank interest rate was set at 8.5 per cent from 10 per cent, while the deposits account XiosAlma offers an annual yield of 9.92 per cent this week and a monthly interest yield.

    [38] AGET-Heracles exhibits art collection in Thessaloniki

    Athens, 14/05/1997 (ANA)

    The AGET Heracles collection of art will go on public show for the first time in Thessaloniki as part of events celebrating Cultural Capital 1997.

    The exhibition, co-organized by AGET Heracles and the Melina Mercouri Foundation, is comprised of 150 works from 43 of the best-known artists, a small part of the company's 1,600 works,.

    Titled "Greek Artists", it includes works by Tsarouhis, Fassianos and Hatzikyriakou-Ghikas and a host of other well-known Greek artists credited with changing the face of contemporary Greek art. The exhibition will be officially inaugurated on May 16 and will run through to June 30 at the Thessaloniki Municipal Theater.

    End of English language section.

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