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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 97-05-15

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
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  • [01] Simitis inaugurates 'social dialogue', opposition critical
  • [02] Dialogue framework
  • [03] Opposition
  • [04] Gov't spokesman
  • [05] Tsohatzopoulos cautions against latest Turkish 'friendship' offensive
  • [06] Gov't on 'committee of experts'
  • [07] Simitis to meet with Pangalos, Tsohatzopoulos
  • [08] Parades mark 77th anniversary of Thrace's liberation
  • [09] ANA hosts meeting of national news agencies
  • [10] Bank account to support SAE
  • [11] Kaklamanis greets large delegation of expatriate Greeks
  • [12] Karamanlis' archives rekindle historical controversies
  • [13] First-ever Euro-Mediterranean Energy Forum begins in Brussels
  • [14] Contract for Private Infrastructures Program in northern Greece signed
  • [15] Promotion of Greece within CoE
  • [16] Soumakis announces rescue chopper tender
  • [17] IOC delegate from Dominican Republic says Athens as host city would promote Olympic spirit
  • [18] Simitis: Gov't displeased with quality of private TV
  • [19] First Commonwealth Festival of Film to be held
  • [20] Coalition leader speaks in London on how to change Greece
  • [21] Che Guevara's daughter to visit Athens
  • [22] Kakavia border post re-opens
  • [23] Hellenic Societies in 30 British universities form union
  • [24] Benefits of olive oil focus of Thessaloniki meeting
  • [25] Iranian trade exhibition
  • [26] Petrol prices increase
  • [27] First outlet by Greek supermarket chain opens in Skopje
  • [28] Petsalnikos urges fur producers to help stamp out protection rackets
  • [29] Greeks investors interested in Cypriot capital market
  • [30] Greek firms receive gold medals at Bulgarian trade fair
  • [31] 14th DETROP food and drinks fair begins today

  • [01] Simitis inaugurates 'social dialogue', opposition critical

    Athens, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday officially opened the process of "social dialogue" which, he said, was aimed at shaping "a new social balance which will generate major structural interventions in turn accelerating the developmental course of the economy."

    "We want a substantial and frank dialogue to develop and I assure you that as far as the government is concerned, no decisions will be taken in advance and merely imposed during the process of dialogue," Mr. Simitis said.

    Stabilization of the economy, improvement of growth rates and the upgrading of the country's production infrastructure may constitute "messages of hope", but they do not suffice, he said.

    At this point, Mr. Simitis warned of the "serious consequences" if Greece failed to meet EMU convergence targets.

    "The drachma will be devalued, inflation will rise, borrowing from abroad will increase, unemployment will grow and prosperity will take a nose-dive," the premier said. Mr. Simitis indicated that unemployment would feature prominently in the social dialogue.

    "We are not interested in attaining a better standard of living for just a few at the expense of employment. The government will make every effort to ensure that not only the incomes of those in employment improve, but also that conditions are created which afford access to the labor market for those currently out of work," Mr. Simitis said.

    The social dialogue, he stressed, will not have succeeded if it merely ends in "compromise agreements" for the preservation of vested interests.

    "To succeed, it must bring to the forefront the new forces of the country and establish new ways for these forces to communicate with each other and ensure creative co-operation," the premier added.

    [02] Dialogue framework

    Athens, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    Speaking at the same event, National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and Labor and Social Security Minister Miltiades Papaioannou outlined the specific issues to be discussed, the time framework and the procedure to be adopted for dialogue.

    The link between the plenary and the various discussion groups, Mr. Papantoniou said, will be a coordinating secretariat.

    He added that the government was open to a broadening of the topics of dialogue, having already accepted a request by trade unions for a discussion of fiscal matters, at least to the extent that such matters pertain to workers' income.

    General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) President Christos Polyzogopoulos welcomed the commencement of social dialogue, pledging that GSEE would contribute decisively to the process.

    Mr. Polyzogopoulos indicated that other trade union groups, affiliated to opposition parties, would eventually join in the dialogue, despite the fact that they were absent from today's official opening.

    The GSEE leader stressed that "the main burden of dialogue" must be lifted by the representatives of the three main parties, namely, the government, workers and employers - with other organizations playing a auxiliary role with respect to specific issues .

    Civil Servants' Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY) President Yiannis Koutsoukos said the dialogue should have begun earlier and warned against "surprises" appearing during the course of the dialogue in the form of "unilateral government decisions".

    On his part, Federation of Greek Industries (SEB) President Iason Stratos said procedures for dialogue should be treated as "a forum for an exchange of views".

    Addressing the opening session, Mr. Stratos said "we are coming to this dialogue which is inaugurated today because we believe unshakably in the importance of rapprochement and composition as a means of overcoming the problems of our society which could take on a confrontational character."

    Mr. Stratos said part of this overall effort is reforming labor relations, namely, their adjustment to the conditions which are rapidly changing, leaving behind organization forms which correspond to other data, and when this happens antiquated practices operate as obstacles which must be lifted for the benefit of all.

    Mr. Stratos expressed the view that the 19 topics for discussion were not clear enough and required broadening with regard to aspects of interest to industry, such as privatization, the liberalization of markets and the modernization of public enterprises and organizations.

    [03] Opposition

    Athens, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos called on Mr. Simitis to make publicly known his positions on social dialogue-related issues.

    He further called on the government to "realize that it does not play the role of arbitrator between social partners but the partner with the basic political responsibility."

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) also issued an announcement, describing social dialogue as a "feast" which takes place in the "absence of the great majority of the workers."

    "The prime minister's address was the political voice of oligarchy," the announcement said, adding that the premier "announced the overturn of workers' vested rights on the altar of multinationals' interests."

    KKE Secretary General Aleka Papariga later likened the social dialogue to a "sharp sword which takes back established rights..."

    The Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) accused the government of not making its positions known on issues related to the social dialogue. The party issued an announcement saying that "through the policy of not submitting specific proposals , the government undermines social dialogue."

    Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) president Dimitris Tsovolas accused the government of attempting a "redistribution of underemployment and unemployment among workers."

    Mr. Tsovolas added that the social dialogue aimed at "the continuation, in the harshest way, of the government's anti-popular policies."

    [04] Gov't spokesman

    Athens, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas on his part said that social dialogue was the only way and means to face problems.

    He criticized those refusing to take part in the social dialogue, accusing them of "rearguard action."

    Mr. Reppas said those entering dialogue did not have to give up their views but instead to promote and support them.

    Concluding, he expressed certainty that the social partners in the dialogue would work side by side with the government in order to find solution to problems.

    [05] Tsohatzopoulos cautions against latest Turkish 'friendship' offensive

    Athens, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos yesterday advised caution over what he called "Ankara's love and friendship offensive" towards Athens.

    Speaking at a meeting at Thessaloniki University, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos attributed the apparent change in Turkey's stance to "the climate of the times" which, he said, was influenced by domestic developments in Turkey. Although Turkish aggressiveness may have ups and downs, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said, it remained "an inherent feature of the Turkish socio-economic make-up".

    "Turkish expansionism constitutes the number one threat, and confrontation of this threat is a top national priority," he stressed.

    Commenting on the conditions Greece would set for any political dialogue with Turkey, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said the objective, framework and prospects of such a dialogue would first have to be clarified.

    Turning to what he referred to as "third parties", Mr. Tsohatzopoulos underlined that Greece would not be drawn into a political dialogue if the conditions it set were not satisfied.

    "A greater danger for Athens is to be drawn into a dialogue, the outcome of which is prejudicial to Greece," he said.

    At several points in his address, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos described Turkey as a destabilizing factor in the region, stressing that "irrespective of Turkey's European course, Greece will alone face the brunt of Turkish aggression and shoulder responsibility for stability in the region". Greece is in an advantageous position, he added, because it believes that the political and legal status in the Aegean constitutes the basis for peaceful co-existence and rejects the escalation of tension and threats of force.

    "We, therefore, call on international organizations to discourage Turkey from the tactic which will inevitably lead at some point to the destabilization of the region," Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said.

    In other statements, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos called for the preparation of a "national prospects plan" for survival, to lead Greece to real convergence with the European economy.

    He further said Greece must succeed in its course towards Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and, referring to Greece's stance towards the European Union, pointed out that "it must neither be a position of unreserved acceptance nor a stance of populist rejection."

    [06] Gov't on 'committee of experts'

    Athens, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    In a related development, the government confirmed yesterday that the Greek and Turkish "committees of experts" formed to examine procedural matters relating to problems dividing the two neighbors would operate by exchanging views in writing.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said that this process, with the exchange taking place via the Dutch EU presidency, would enable each side to clearly set out its positions. "In this way, it will become clear whether there is common ground," Mr. Reppas added.

    The spokesman underlined, however, that Greece was interested in rapprochement and coming to an understanding with Turkey, but only within the framework of the three conditions set by Athens, namely, that Ankara respects international law, international treaties and acts in a spirit of good-neighborliness.

    In another development, Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou met the Dutch ambassador to Athens yesterday morning and discussed European issues and the issue of the "committee of experts".

    [07] Simitis to meet with Pangalos, Tsohatzopoulos

    Athens, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis will chair a meeting this morning with the participation of Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and Mr. Tsohatzopoulos, press reports said.

    The conference is expected to focus on latest developments on national issues, such as Greek-Turkish relations and relations between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

    [08] Parades mark 77th anniversary of Thrace's liberation

    Athens, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    Celebrations in Thrace to mark the 77th anniversary of its liberation wound up yesterday with parades in Alexandroupoli and Komotini.

    President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos reviewed the Alexandroupoli parade.

    "This was an interesting two-day visit to Thrace," he said afterwards.

    "It was a great anniversary we were celebrating, the liberation of Thrace... I had the opportunity to meet with officers and soldiers of the armed forces and with the people of Thrace, a very likable section of which is the Moslem minority.

    "Thrace doubtlessly continues to have many problems. But there is also an indication of its significant development... and of important projects which are being implemented, and I am certain that the continuation of progress is ensured," he said.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos noted that the large projects being carried out in the prefecture will promote Thrace, "where Christians and Moslems, united, will do whatever possible to achieve prosperity."

    Yesterday morning, before traveling to Alexandroupoli, Mr. Stephanopoulos visited the Sapes municipality in Rodopi prefecture and met with Mayor Dinos Haritopoulos and other local officials.

    Commenting on the multicultural school in Sappes, which is attended by Christians, Moslems and children from the former Soviet Union, the president said it "constitutes an example which proves that people, regardless of any differences - which I don't want to call differences - can co-operate and live together."

    [09] ANA hosts meeting of national news agencies

    Athens, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    The Athens News Agency is holding a seminar entitled "National news agencies in the new era of communications" on May 31 and June 1, within the framework of the Alliance of Mediterranean News Agencies.

    The seminar will be attended by executives and other senior staff of national news agencies from Mediterranean nations - Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Cyprus, Syria, Turkey, Albania, Italy, Spain, Portugal and France, as well as Greece.

    To be held at the Divani Caravel Hotel, it will also be attended by representatives of the Athens Journalists' Union, the Athens' Newspaper Publishers' Union and ten students from Athens' University's Communications School.

    The seminar is to be sponsored by the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) and its subsidiary OTEnet.

    Andreas Christodoulides, general director of the ANA, will introduce the seminar while Press and Media Minister Dimitris Reppas will officially inaugurate the meeting.

    [10] Bank account to support SAE

    Athens, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    The Macedonia and Thrace Bank has opened an account in support of targets pursued by the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE).

    As has already been announced, the bank has provided space covering 540 square meters at its new administration building in Thessaloniki for SAE offices to be established. The account number is 107001210353179-1.

    [11] Kaklamanis greets large delegation of expatriate Greeks

    Athens, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis yesterday briefed 170 expatriate Greeks on Greek national issues. The expatriates are being hosted in Greece by the Expatriate Hellenism Secretariat.

    Mr. Kaklamanis called on the overseas Greeks, who visited Parliament yesterday, to intensify their efforts to inform public opinion in the countries in which they live, in order to aid the better understanding of Greek positions.

    He stressed that Greece is currently in "an extremely privileged position in the Balkans and the eastern Mediterranean" and can be a force for peace and security in the region, as well as within the Black Sea Co-operation countries.

    Mr. Kaklamanis praised the improvement of economic and cultural relations and the strengthening of friendship with neighboring countries, excepting Turkey. He said relations with the latter remain bad due to the continued occupation of the northern part of Cyprus.

    "Nevertheless," he said, "Greece is a powerful country, a member of the European Union, and can face any threat from the other side," he concluded.

    [12] Karamanlis' archives rekindle historical controversies

    Athens, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    The archives of New Democracy founder, former prime minister and president of the republic Constantine Karamanlis were officially presented last night in a ceremony in the Athens Concert Hall.

    In the archives, the 90-year-old Karamanlis describes events during the years 1965-1995, while also passing certain judgments on political situations and individuals.

    The 12th and last volume, covering the period between 1985-95, has proved to be the most controversial, as Mr. Karamanlis accuses the late PASOK founder Andreas Papandreou of deceiving him. In the 12th volume, Mr. Karamanlis claims that despite Papandreou's assurances, the three-time socialist premier did not nominate him for president in 1985, nominating Christos Sartzetakis at the last minute.

    Mr. Karamanlis also describes Papandreou as being "a common cheat, a demagogue and a hypocrite", and as being "dangerous for the country".

    No government members were due to attend the presentation, while ND honorary president Constantine Mitsotakis had also said he would not attend.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas yesterday criticized Mr. Karamanlis over his comments in the archives concerning Papandreou.

    "The PASOK president was not anxious to better his political course and was honored as no-one else in the period after the junta, elected prime minister three times," Mr. Reppas said.

    He added that the nomination of Mr. Sartzetakis as president was correct at the time and was approved by the people, as shown through the 1985 elections.

    Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou, son of the late prime minister, also criticized Mr. Karamanlis' observations on his father and grandfather, also named George Papandreou, one of Greece's most significant politicians after World War II.

    "The views published, both concerning the 'old man of democracy' (his grandfather) and the founder of PASOK, aim to distort history and to erase the struggles and ideals of the brave who fought for democracy," he said.

    The alternate foreign minister stressed both his father and grandfather "fought with passion for democracy and freedom for the people. They inspired and united the democratic front."

    "Andreas Papandreou managed to realize a dream of the Greek people in the 1980s: the great project of reconciliation and democracy."

    All PASOK members made similar statements. The party's Secretary, Costas Skandalidis, said "the people have memory and judgment and they will not accept history to be re-written."

    He added that no-one can "encroach upon Andreas Papandreou's legacy with petty party and opportunist criteria."

    New Democracy president and the nephew of the ND founder, Costas Karamanlis, said the contribution of Constantine Karamanlis to politics was "great, invaluable and undoubted".

    "Our mission is to turn the page over, to look forward and to work for a better tomorrow for our homeland," he said.

    Coalition of the Left and Progress party leader Nikos Constantopoulos called for an end to "historical vendettas and para-political explosions".

    "The past and its leading characters belong to history," he said, adding that "the endless talking of the past is one of the basic causes of the political crisis which has eroded political life and has tired the Greek people."

    Democratic Social Movement leader Dimitris Tsovolas said the Karamanlis archives "aim to disorientate the people".

    He claimed their publication was "orchestrated by the architects of the decline of the last 30 years".

    [13] First-ever Euro-Mediterranean Energy Forum begins in Brussels

    Brussels, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    Addressing the first official conference of the Euro-Mediterranean Energy Forum here, EU Energy Commissioner Christos Papoutsis said the forum can serve "as an important body for promoting and implementing co-operation in the energy sector ".

    Mr. Papoutsis said the European Union's concept and volition is that through this flexible body "we must secure continuation of dialogue and promote energy co-operation" with non-Community countries in the Mediterranean.

    The Euro-Mediterranean Energy Forum was created through a proposal by Mr. Papoutsis and on the basis of the conclusions of the Euro-Mediterranean energy ministers' session held in Trieste, Italy, in June 1996. Its aim is to contribute to the organization and monitoring of Euro-Mediterranean co-operation in the energy sector.

    On the question of a permanent dialogue, the forum agreed to the creation of a database for information to be provided for its members, industry and banks concerning the energy sector, the organization of a communications network on the Internet and, lastly, the organization of special conferences to facilitate a better understanding of the situation in non-EU Mediterranean countries.

    Mr. Papoutsis expressed satisfaction over the results of this first official conference and said the Forum "can certainly provide the means for an agreement to be reached on energy policy, an agreement which can serve as the basis for negotiations at a regional and bilateral level in the framework of the MEDA program."

    [14] Contract for Private Infrastructures Program in northern Greece signed

    Athens, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    A contract on granting overall subsidization for the management of the Private Infrastructures Program in Northern Greece was signed in Thessaloniki last night by representatives of the European Commission's XVI General Department and the company for Developing Private Infrastructures of Northern Greece.

    Development Under-secretary Anna Diamantopoulou attended the signing of the agreement.

    The program's planning started three years ago in the framework of the Operational Program for Industry.

    The target of the Program of Private Infrastructures in Northern Greece is to activate private initiative in the sector of developing and creating industrial infrastructures which will cover the needs of the business world of Macedonia and Thrace.

    A press conference was held afterwards during which it was announced that the program has a pilot character, it concerns the 1997-2001 period and the total amount to be provided amounts to ECU 30 million, about nine billion drachmas.

    Referring to the program, Ms Diamantopoulou said the key for both its preparation and further operation is the confidence which, she said, constitutes "the belt on which relevant duties passed from the state sector to the Company for the Development of Private Infrastructures."

    She called on the representatives of the company to show in turn confidence to the private sector, which will take this effort in their hands in undertaking programs.

    The company's president, Nikos Efthymiadis, announced that so far interest has been primarily shown by businesses in the prefectural and local self-administration sector from many regions in northern Greece.

    [15] Promotion of Greece within CoE

    Strasbourg, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    A few weeks after assuming his duties as Greece's permanent representative to the Council of Europe, former Panteios University rector Dimitris Konstas has begun preparations to promote Greece at the CoE.

    Within this framework, he held a dinner yesterday for Greek Eurodeputies and European Commissioner Christos Papoutsis.

    Noting that Greece will assume the CoE presidency in May 1998, he said "it is self-evident that we must unite all our powers in order for that to be an important political and cultural event."

    [16] Soumakis announces rescue chopper tender

    Athens, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    Merchant Marine Minister Stavros Soumakis yesterday announced that a tender for the purchase by the ministry of six all-weather search and rescue helicopters would take place on June 10.

    Mr. Soumakis said the procedures for the purchase were proceeding with "complete openness" and the unanimous agreement of all the members of the evaluation committee.

    The only criterion for awarding the contract, Soumakis said, would be the selection of that offer which is in the best interests of the state. The estimated cost of the helicopters is 18 billion drachmas, 75 per cent of which will be paid from European Union funds.

    The helicopters to be purchased must have a capacity for 12 passengers, a range of 360 miles and be able to fly in winds of 45 knots.

    [17] IOC delegate from Dominican Republic says Athens as host city would promote Olympic spirit

    Athens, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Napoleon Munoz Pena, from the Dominican Republic, yesterday concluded his visit to Athens and planted the fourth olive tree at the Athens Olympic Park.

    Each visiting IOC member plants an olive tree, the branches of which will be used to make wreaths for the winners of the 2004 Olympic Games if Athens hosts the event.

    "I am deeply moved and I cannot hide it, because what you are doing here at the Olympic Park upgrades the Olympic movement," he said. "The Olympic movement at this time is seeking to upgrade itself and I believe that Greece, through organizing the Olympic Games, can bring it back to its roots."

    [18] Simitis: Gov't displeased with quality of private TV

    Athens, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis said yesterday that the government is waiting for the co-operation of the state-run broadcasting network (ERT) in order to improve regulations for the operation of broadcast television. The government is displeased with the quality of programs and the services offered by television, he said, but is unable to intervene in any way. For this reason, Mr. Simitis noted, it is calling on society to push for an improvement in private television channels.

    [19] First Commonwealth Festival of Film to be held

    Athens, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    Seven British Commonwealth country embassies in Athens have joined forces to bring the Greek public the First Commonwealth Festival of Film, to be held May 26-30 at the Pallas Cinema. All seven countries will present feature films from new directors never before seen in Greece.

    Among the films to be featured are "Margaret's Museum" by Mort Russen (Canada), "The Gods Must Be Crazy 2" by Jamie Ice (South Africa), "Malcolm" by Nadia Tass and David Parker (Australia) and "Mammo" by Sam Benegal (India). Cyprus, Britain and New Zealand will also be represented.

    The aim of the festival, which was the brainchild of the Canadian ambassador Derek Fraser, is give the Greek public a chance to become acquainted with the arts and cultural life of the 53 Commonwealth countries and its 1.6 billion residents which comprise a quarter of the earth's population.

    [20] Coalition leader speaks in London on how to change Greece

    London, 15/05/1997 (ANA - L. Tsirigotakis)

    Coalition of the Left and Progress President Nikos Constantopoulos stressed the need for institutional reforms in the Greek political scene in an address headlined "Changing Greece in a changing world" at the London School of Economics.

    Mr. Constantopoulos urged "important institutional changes in Greece's political scene" which would prepare the country for the 21st century. On the sidelines of his visit to London, Mr. Constantopoulos met with Labor Party deputies, the new president of the British Committee for the Return of the Parthenon Marbles and representatives from the Research Institute, which works closely with the Labor Party.

    [21] Che Guevara's daughter to visit Athens

    Athens, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    Aleida Guevara, the daughter of the late Bolivian revolutionary Che Guevara, is to visit Athens from May 16-25 at the invitation of the Telefilm Hellas Entertainment Group.

    Ms. Guevara will be presenting a collection of eight video cassettes on the life of Che, as well as a CD and audio cassette with 19 songs from all over the world written for him.

    While in Athens, she will also have meetings with political leaders, local government authorities, women's groups, students, prominent members of the medical profession, and will visit schools and hospitals. Ms. Guevara will also be holding a press conference.

    [22] Kakavia border post re-opens

    Athens, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    The Kakavia customs post on the border with Albania re-opened yesterday afternoon.

    Greek authorities were forced to close the border post after a shoot-out between two rival gangs occurred at a close distance on the Albanian side of the border. The reasons for the shoot-out, which resulted to the injury of one Albanian policeman, are unknown.

    Greek police and customs officials warned that they would close down the customs post if gunfire was recorded.

    [23] Hellenic Societies in 30 British universities form union

    London, 15/05/1997 (ANA - L. Tsirigotakis)

    The first conference of Greek and Greek Cypriot students in British universities throughout the country took place in the students' union of De Montford University's Scraptoft Campus in Leicester last weekend.

    The participating Hellenic Societies, from 30 universities across Britain, discussed and voted on the union's constitution, and decided on its name: Union of Hellenic Societies in Britain.

    A debate on the mapping of Greek foreign policy was held on the second day of the conference.

    Speakers included Andreas Psyharis from the Greek embassy in London, who elaborated on Greek foreign policy in the Aegean and Richard Clogg from Oxford University, who spoke on Greek-Turkish relations.

    The official web site for the union, which includes a members' list, its charter, aims and objectives as well as an overview on the conference is:

    [24] Benefits of olive oil focus of Thessaloniki meeting

    Athens, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    A survey of the beneficial effects of olive oil will be the focus of a symposium in Thessaloniki tomorrow to be addressed by the director of the G. Papanikolaou Hospital's Cardiology Clinic, Dr. Panayotis Spyrou.

    The survey was held in the prefecture of Messinia in the framework of the program "Europe against cancer in 200". The results will be presented at the symposium by its director, Ms. Antonia Trihopoulou, professor of nutrition and food sciences at Athens' University's School of Public Health.

    [25] Iranian trade exhibition

    Athens, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    Iran is to hold its first commercial exhibition in Greece between May 16-25, at the Athens Exhibition Center.

    The trade fair, entitled "Iran Solo Exhibition", will contain hand-made articles, wool and silk carpets, household items, as well as food and silver jewelry.

    The exhibition is due to be officially opened today at the exhibition center, 124, Kifissias Ave.

    [26] Petrol prices increase

    Athens, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    The retail sales prices of gasoline will increase for at least one week by 0.50 drachmas per liter, while the price of diesel will decrease by 1.20 drachmas per liter.

    In the Attica region and the Thessaloniki prefecture, super gasoline will cost 222.80 drachmas per liter and unleaded gasoline 206.80 drachmas per liter.

    [27] First outlet by Greek supermarket chain opens in Skopje

    Skopje, 15/05/1997 (ANA - M. Vihou)

    The first Greece-based supermarket opened in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on Tuesday in the presence of the head of the Greece's liaison office in FYROM, Alexandros Mallias, and the mayor of Skopje Risto Penov.

    The supermarket is the 137th branch of the Veropoulos chain of supermarkets and the company's first outside Greece.

    Expenditure to date has amounted to 3.7 million deutschmarks, the largest part of which was provided for the purchase of the building, with a capacity of 2,000 square meters and parking space for 200 cars.

    Forty per cent of products available in the supermarket are domestic and 60 per cent are imported from Greece. The staff is comprised of 65 employees, of whom only three administrative employees are Greek nationals.

    [28] Petsalnikos urges fur producers to help stamp out protection rackets

    Athens, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    Macedonia and Thrace Minister Philippos Petsalnikos yesterday urged northern Greek fur producers to make use of state export credit facilities in order to help stamp out protection rackets that are damaging the industry. "No (fur) producers in Kastoria have used the Insurance Organization for Export Credits, which safeguards businesses from such problems," Mr. Petsalnikos told a news conference.

    He was speaking after the opening of a trade fair in Kastoria, a major fur producing center in northern Greece.

    "If there was a different form of organization there would be no need for touts, no opportunities for this (customer) importing mafia, no phenomena involving people promoting or blocking access to sellers," he said.

    The middlemen, who are believed to be linked to the Russian mafia, charge producers in northern Greece around two billion drachmas for finding customers in CIS countries, Mr. Petsalnikos said.

    According to police, producers who fail to comply with the demand are threatened, deprived of custom and sometimes attacked.

    The government plans to aid fur producers by introducing informatics for the sector, setting up a quality assurance mechanism, establishing workshops for fashionwear and publicity, and building a livestock feed factory. It has indicated it will not write off the industry's unpaid loans.

    [29] Greeks investors interested in Cypriot capital market

    Nicosia, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    Greek companies, stockbroking firms and investors are showing great interest in participating in the capital market of Cyprus, a Stock Market Forum held in Athens for the presentation of the Cyprus stock market concluded.

    Cypriot stockbrokers attending the forum had numerous contacts with their Greek colleagues and discussed the prospects of future co-operation.

    Participants in the forum said that during the next few months Greek companies are expected to announce their expansion into the Cyprus market through co-operation with stockbroking firms in the island and vice versa. Greek companies also expressed inter est in joining the Cyprus bourse.

    [30] Greek firms receive gold medals at Bulgarian trade fair

    Sofia, 15/05/1997 (ANA - N. Hiou)

    Two Greek companies were awarded gold medals during an international exhibition of consumer products in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv. The two companies were "Yiotis Baby Foods" and "ELDONS-industrial oils".

    Fourteen Greek companies took part in the exhibition, a number substantially smaller in comparison with previous years. The lack of interest by both Greek and foreign firms is attributed to the financial crisis facing Bulgaria and the drastic fall in the living standard of Bulgarians.

    [31] 14th DETROP food and drinks fair begins today

    Athens, 15/05/1997 (ANA)

    More than 1,000 Greek and foreign companies are participating in the annual International Exhibition of Food and Drinks (DETROP) to be held May 15-19 in Thessaloniki.

    Agriculture Minister Stephanos Tzoumakas will inaugurate the 14th DETROP exhibition at the facilities of the organizer HELLEXPO-DETH today at 11 a.m. The total number of exhibitors is 1,031, up from last year's 632 exhibitors.

    Greek exhibitors-producers increased by 38 per cent, while foreign exhibitors from 30 different countries more than doubled from 199 in 1996 to 466 this year.

    The DETROP trade fair is also organizing a series of cultural events in the framework of Thessaloniki as the Cultural Capital of Europe, with the aim of promoting health foods and foodstuffs particular to the

    Mediterranean such as fruits, olive oil, beans, vegetables and wine. The importance of those foods will be discussed during seminars and symposiums.

    The events start today with the 2nd Festival of Food and Wine, which will include a contest for best label and presentation of wine with the participation of 70 Greek producers.

    End of English language section.

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