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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 97-05-22

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 (No 1192), May 22, 1997

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece ready to help in any way for successful Albanian elections
  • [02] Reppas
  • [03] IMF sees marked improvement on Greek economy
  • [04] Ankara says it's ready for 'committee of experts'
  • [05] G. Papandreou visit to Austria
  • [06] Simitis to visit Sweden early next month
  • [07] Kranidiotis meets with EU representative on Cyprus
  • [08] Europarliament committee adopts ND Eurodeputy's report on stability, development pact
  • [09] Armenian BSEC deputies visit Greece
  • [10] PASOK hosts EU-Turkey discussion on Lesvos
  • [11] Tsohatzopoulos on visit to Yugoslavia
  • [12] Greek police officer's shooting in Gjirokaster apparently solved
  • [13] G. Papandreou supports prospect of decriminalization of cannabis in magazine interview
  • [14] Iraqi envoy appeals for world condemnation of Turkish thrust into Iraq
  • [15] Greece reiterates strong opposition to Turkish move
  • [16] V. Papandreou to participate in IEO members' session
  • [17] Armenian genocide photo exhibition in Thessaloniki
  • [18] Athens' rivals for 2004 Games cry foul over reception
  • [19] Armed Albanians kidnap two Greeks
  • [20] Thessaloniki to vie for 2001 indoor track championship
  • [21] Shipping exchange drop in January
  • [22] National Bank's new branch in Sofia
  • [23] Alpha Credit Bank 1996 profits rise 13%
  • [24] IOBE survey on economy
  • [25] EU delays olive oil reforms until 1998
  • [26] ELBO co-operation with NATO allies considered
  • [27] SEB's Stratos calls for specific time frame on 'social dialogue'
  • [28] Gov't responds to OECD report on Greece's pension funds
  • [29] Greece opposes EU change in calculating olive oil subsidies

  • [01] Greece ready to help in any way for successful Albanian elections

    Athens, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos yesterday called on all political forces in Albania to make every effort towards a successful outcome for the June 29 elections, promising that Greece "will continue to offer every possible assistance on the diplomatic, economic and humanitarian front."

    In a statement issued yesterday morning, Mr. Pangalos warned against allowing "partisan concerns to thwart" what he called "the historic opportunity offered by the elections". He said the "international community would have to review its position with regard to Albania if the elections foundered."

    "If the elections were not held under free and fair conditions," Mr. Pangalos said he feared "the end of Albania's troubles would not be at hand."

    [02] Reppas

    Athens, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    There are no plans for Mr. Pangalos to visit Albania, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said yesterday replying to reporters' questions.

    Commenting meanwhile on the situation in the neighboring country, Mr. Reppas said it was the responsibility of the political forces of Albania to give a solution to the problem which exists.

    On the presence of the multinational protection force in Albania and its role, Mr. Reppas said "no one is prepared to whitewash unilateral actions and it is not possible for the international community to legitimize handling which serves the plans of individuals or parties."

    "The international community will not remain indifferent," Mr. Reppas said.

    The spokesman expressed the hope that the political parties in Albania will in the next few days find a way to communicate.

    National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said on Tuesday that Greece intended to raise the issue of whether its military contingent should remain in Albania in the event that the political parties of the neighboring country fail to reach agreement on the electoral law and the terms under which elections scheduled for next month will be held.

    "We went to Albania to support the agreement and not to be used by one side or the other," Mr. Tsohatzopoulos warned.

    [03] IMF sees marked improvement on Greek economy

    Athens, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    The Greek economy has showed a marked improvement with growth rates accelerating and inflation falling to 20-year lows, upgrading the country's position in international financial markets, the International Monetary Fund said.

    [04] Ankara says it's ready for 'committee of experts'

    Istanbul, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    Turkey is ready to enter into a meeting of the Greek and Turkish "committees of experts" as soon as Athens is ready, Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Omer Akbel said yesterday.

    Speaking at a press briefing, Mr. Akbel said that "it seems that our Greek neighbors are facing certain difficulties" in terms of convening the group of experts on Greek-Turkish relations. He said that "efforts are underway to make the start of talks o n the issue possible".

    The proposal for the experts committee was made by the Dutch EU presidency, while Mr. Akbel said Turkey was "expecting confirmation" of when the Greek side was ready.

    [05] G. Papandreou visit to Austria

    Vienna, 22/5/1997 (ANA - D. Dimitrakoudis)

    Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou is to conduct a working visit here today and discuss a series of issues, including bilateral relations, the intergovernmental conference, the Balkans, EU relations and the Cyprus issue.

    Mr. Papandreou is scheduled to meet with Austrian Foreign Under-secretary Benita Fererro-Waldner, Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Wolfgang Schuessel and the Foreign Under-secretary responsible for European, Cultural and Sports Issues Peter Witmann.

    The two sides are to discuss the course of the Intergovernmental Conference currently underway. Greece's central position on the issue is for negotiations to lead to a comprehensive package which will lead to Greece's equal participation in European developments.

    Mr. Papandreou is also to broach the issue of the EU's prospects for expansion, and particularly the opening of entry negotiations for Cyprus six months after the end of the IGC.

    These entry negotiations are due to begin during Austria's presidency of the EU, during the second half of 1998.

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis' visit to Austria last month is also expected to be discussed.

    [06] Simitis to visit Sweden early next month

    Stockholm, 22/5/1997 (ANA-N. Serveta)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis will pay a working visit to Sweden from June 3-5.

    After arriving in Stockholm, Mr. Simitis will travel to Malmo to attend a conference of European socialist and social democrat parties which is being held just a few days before the European Union summit.

    According to the program for the premier's visit, Mr. Simitis will arrive in Stockholm on June 3 and the same day attend a dinner given in his honor by Swedish Prime Minister Goran Person.

    The following day, Mr. Simitis will have talks with Mr. Person and Swedish Foreign Minister Lena Hjelm-Wallen. Later the same day, he will attend a meeting of Sweden's Social Democrat party cadres.

    On June 5, in the morning, the premier will be received by King Carl Gustav XVI and immediately after leave for Malmo.

    Mr. Simitis will be accompanied on his first visit to Sweden as premier by Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou.

    [07] Kranidiotis meets with EU representative on Cyprus

    Athens, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    The Dutch EU presidency's representative for the Cyprus problem, Irish ambassador Kester Heaslip, yesterday briefed Foreign Under-secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis on his recent talks in Ankara and Nicosia.

    During the meeting, Mr. Kranidiotis expressed the view to Mr. Heaslip that the European Union should play a more active role in efforts to find a settlement of the Cyprus problem and a "catalytic" role in negotiations for Cyprus' accession to the Community.

    Mr. Kranidiotis underlined that any Cyprus solution should be in accordance with European law and order and that the island republic's accession to the EU should constitute part of the solution.

    [08] Europarliament committee adopts ND Eurodeputy's report on stability, development pact

    Brussels, 22/5/1997 (ANA - M. Spinthourakis)

    The European Parliament's Economic, Monetary and Industrial Policy Committee yesterday adopted a report by New Democracy Eurodeputy Efthymios Christodoulou on the stability and development pact aimed at securing fiscal stability during the third stage of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

    The report says fiscal stability will be achieved by strengthening the supervision and coordination of all member-states' fiscal status as well as imposing penalties on member-states in EMU which will produce an excessive fiscal deficit, namely, a deficit exceeding the 3 per cent of GDP ceiling anticipated by the Maastricht Treaty.

    It is reminded that in the wake of the European summit in Dublin, the informal ECOFIN council held in the Netherlands in April agreed in principle to establish the basic principles and main settlements governing the pact in question.

    Mr. Christodoulou's report makes particular reference to the problems which will be faced by EU member-states which will not join the EMU from the start.

    [09] Armenian BSEC deputies visit Greece

    Athens, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    The members of the Armenian parliamentary delegation at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Co-operation (BSEC) organization, headed by Karapet Roubinyan, had talks yesterday with Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis.

    During the meeting, both sides underlined the close ties of friendship linking the two countries and confirmed their will for the further broadening of bilateral co-operation for the benefit of both peoples.

    "We feel to be not only friends but allies of the Armenian nation and we must preserve, strengthen and transfer this relationship to coming generations as a joint defense stance against the expansionist policy of Turkey," Mr. Kaklamanis said.

    Echoing Mr. Kaklamanis' views, Mr. Roubinyan underlined Turkey's negative stance towards Armenia against the background of Erevan's efforts to resolve differences with Azerbaijan.

    "We are determined to continuously condemn this policy of Turkey at all international organizations," Mr. Roubinyan added.

    [10] PASOK hosts EU-Turkey discussion on Lesvos

    Athens, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    PASOK's Parliamentary group at the European Parliament is hosting a discussion entitled "European Union-Turkish Relations", held on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos in association with the party's prefectural committee.

    Speakers include European Parliament Vice-President Paraskevas Avgerinos, who is also the head of PASOK's Europarliament group, Aegean Minister Elisabeth Papazoi, PASOK Eurodeputy and Vice-President of the party's Parliamentary group at the European Parliament Yiannis Roubatis and Eurodeputy Dimitris Tsatsos.

    [11] Tsohatzopoulos on visit to Yugoslavia

    Athens, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos arrived in Belgrade last night for a two-day visit at the invitation of his counterpart Pavle Bulatovic.

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos is due to visit the Yugoslav army's Institute of Technological Studies before attending a dinner held in his honor.

    According to an ANA dispatch quoting Yugoslav defense ministry sources, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos will discuss with Mr. Bulatovic the aim and priorities of co-operation in the defense and technology sectors. Both ministers are also expected to discuss security concerns in the Balkans.

    Today, the two ministers will have talks focusing on bilateral defense-related issues.

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos is also due to have talks with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, Foreign Minister Milan Milutinovic and other leaders.

    [12] Greek police officer's shooting in Gjirokaster apparently solved

    Athens, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    The Greek police security chief at Athens' consulate in the Albanian town of Gjirokaster died as a result of a gunshot fired by a young fellow officer who had been sent to reinforce the consulate's guard, authorities announced last night.

    According to public order ministry sources, the police officer, Dimitris Tzavelas, admitted to authorities that he accidentally shot Nikos Markakis early Tuesday morning during horseplay. He had been sent to Albania only a few months ago.

    The same sources said Mr. Tzavelas was first named as being the man who shot Markakis by Odysseas Mitsis, an ethnic Greek resident of southern Albania serving on the consulate's security guard. Mr. Mitsis was initially suspected of firing the shot.

    Greek police officials have traveled to Gjirokaster and are to stage a reconstruction of the incident in order to investigate whether the shooting was accidental or intentional.

    [13] G. Papandreou supports prospect of decriminalization of cannabis in magazine interview

    Athens, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    The Athens daily "Eleftheros Typos" yesterday published excerpts of an interview by Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou with the monthly magazine "Klik", in which he reportedly supports the possibility of a cannabis user being able to cultivate a small quantity at his residence for personal own use.

    The minister adds that it will remain illegal for citizens to either traffic or sell any cultivated quantity.

    Mr. Papandreou is also reportedly in favor of distinguishing between so-called "soft" and "hard" drugs, in order to enable the weight of strict law enforcement to fall on the latter.

    Reacting strongly to Mr. Papandreou's interview on the drug problem, the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE) - the Communist Party of Greece's (KKE) youth wing - referred in an announcement to what it called the "dangerous and reactionary methodizations" of the government, which KNE says is promoting a "high youth."

    Asked to comment on Mr. Papandreou's view of legalizing hashish, Justice Minister Evangelos Yiannopoulos said it was a mistake and stressed that "it is his right to express his view but he will receive the necessary reply from the Greek people."

    [14] Iraqi envoy appeals for world condemnation of Turkish thrust into Iraq

    Athens, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    Baghdad's envoy to Greece, Issam Khalil, yesterday issued an appeal to the international community and the Greek government and people to condemn the Turkish thrust into northern Iraq and demand the immediate withdrawal of Turkish troops from the region.

    Mr. Khalil said the reason given by Ankara for the incursion, namely that it is pursuing Kurdish PKK guerrillas, was merely a pretext. "Turkey's action constitutes a blatant violation of Iraq's sovereignty and integrity as well as of international agreements, laws and the principles of good neighborliness, despite the fact that Turkey has declared it supports these principles," Mr. Khalil told a press conference.

    Mr. Khalil warned Ankara it should be aware that Iraq was entitled, according to international law, "to reply accordingly to Turkey's aggressive act" and demand compensation for the loss of life and material damage incurred.

    "Turkey must stop acting like a phony policeman and realize that the era of old and sick empires has gone forever," the envoy said.

    The duty of Turkey's political and military leaders, Mr. Khalil said, is to protect their country's borders from attack and not to invade other states, irrespective of pretexts.

    Mr. Khalil called on the international community to condemn the policy of "double standards" in international relations and Turkey's aggressive policy.

    [15] Greece reiterates strong opposition to Turkish move

    Athens, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    The Greek foreign ministry later expressed its strong opposition to "the blatant" invasion of the Turkish armed forces in northern Iraq. In an announcement the ministry calls on the Turkish government to immediately withdraw its forces "and to stop creating situations reminiscent of other times at the expense of its neighbors".

    "It is with concern that the Greek government ascertains that Turkey, while continuing to occupy part of the Cyprus Republic, has formulated a repetitive practice which deals a blow to international legality and threatens the stability of the broader region," the ministry announcement said.

    The announcement calls on Ankara to look for political solutions to its domestic problems and to take into consideration "the paramount value of respect for human rights" and to respect the territorial integrity, sovereignty and security of Iraq.

    [16] V. Papandreou to participate in IEO members' session

    Athens, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    Development Minister Vasso Papandreou is leaving for Paris today to attend the session of energy ministers of the 24 member-states of the International Energy Organization (IEO).

    The session, which is held every two years, this year will examine, among other things, the energy dimension of climatic changes, and the medium-term strategy of the organization in the 1997-2000 period.

    The minister will meet former European Commission President Jacques Delors tomorrow night, and will participate the EU energy ministers' council in Brussels on Tuesday.

    [17] Armenian genocide photo exhibition in Thessaloniki

    Athens, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    Rare photographs depicting horrific scenes from the 1915 Armenian genocide engineered by Ottoman Turkish authorities are going on exhibition at the Kalfayan Gallery in Thessaloniki today until June 7.

    German photographer Armin Wegner, who died in Italy in 1978, was a German army officer stationed in Asia Minor at the time and witnessed many of the atrocities committed by Turkish soldiers and irregulars against the Armenian populations.

    Under threat of his life Wegner photographed the execution of Armenian men and the uprooting and forced marches of women and children toward the Der-el-Zor Desert in Syria. The films were smuggled out of Ottoman Turkey.

    The exhibition includes letters he sent to then US President Woodrow Wilson and later, in the 1930s, to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. His letter to Hitler led to his exile in Italy.

    The photo exhibition, which has already been shown in 12 Italian cities, will travel to Austria, Germany, Israel and Athens.

    [18] Athens' rivals for 2004 Games cry foul over reception

    Athens, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    Four of the five candidate cities for the 2004 Olympic Games have accused Athens of breaking International Olympic Committee (IOC) regulations by holding a reception for IOC delegates last week during the South Asian Games in South Korea.

    According to representatives from Rome, Stockholm, Cape Town and Buenos Aires, the IOC has said candidate-cities can not hold receptions for IOC members unless they are visiting the candidate.

    A spokesman for the Stockholm candidate committee said "we are discussing the issue with the other cities, but it is Rome's decision whether to take an initiative" for making an official charge against Athens.

    Luciano Bara, the general director of the Italian candidate committee, said Rome will not initiate proceedings against Athens.

    "It would have to be a joint decision of all four cities," he said.

    The president of the Greek 2004 committee, Yianna Angelopoulou-Daskalaki, expressed her surprise at the charges, stating that neither she nor any other member of the Athens 2004 Committee had violated IOC regulations.

    "I am entirely sure we are proceeding well and we are following the Olympic spirit" she said.

    [19] Armed Albanians kidnap two Greeks

    Athens, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    Two livestock breeders were kidnapped by eight armed Albanians in the prefecture of Thesprotia, northern Greece, on Tuesday night and were forced to drive their kidnappers to the Albanian border.

    Leonidas Tsepas, 41 and George Prokopiou, 23, were held up while on their way to their stockyards. According to police, the kidnappers have taken the men into Albania and were demanding a ransom from their families.

    [20] Thessaloniki to vie for 2001 indoor track championship

    Athens, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    Thessaloniki will put a bid to host the 2001 indoor athletics world championships, Sports Under-secretary Andreas Fouras announced yesterday.

    The championship would be held at a new indoor stadium being built in the Thermie district of Thessaloniki.

    He made the announcement during a press conference to present newly appointed special secretary for sports for the Macedonia-Thrace region, Stelios Angeloudis.

    Mr. Angeloudis, 38, is a specialist in sports law and former consultant for the state-run Greek broadcasting network (ET).

    [21] Shipping exchange drop in January

    Athens, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    Inflows of shipping exchange dropped 7 per cent in January compared to the same month of 1996, according to figures released today by the ministry of merchant marine.

    Shipping exchange totaling 180 million dollars was deposited in Greek banks in January 1997, compared to 193.5 million dollars in the same month last year.

    [22] National Bank's new branch in Sofia

    Athens, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    National Bank of Greece governor Theodoros Karatzas on Thursday will launch the state bank's new branch in the Bulgarian capital and is expected to meet members of the country's new government during his visit to the capital.

    Accompanying Mr. Karatzas to Sofia is a delegation of roughly 50 representatives of industrial sectors including construction, foodstuffs, textiles and metals.

    [23] Alpha Credit Bank 1996 profits rise 13%

    Athens, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    Alpha Credit Bank reported a 13 percent increase in 1996 net profit to 43.1 billion drachmas from 38.2 billion the previous year.

    Presenting annual results to the annual shareholders' meeting, the president of the bank Yiannis Costopoulos said that 1996 represented yet another year of success, coordinated growth, and confirmation of the bank's leading role in the Greek banking industry.

    Total assets reached 2.74 billion drachmas from 2.07 billion in 1995, while the bank announced a dividend payment of 925 drachmas per share from 825 drachmas the year before. Profits per share increased to 1,632 drachmas last year from 1,445 in 1995 and the P/E ratio rose to 16.24 from 8.62.

    Alpha Credit Bank's capitalization is the biggest among Greek banks, reaching 414.5 billion drachmas on December 31 1996 from 271.3 billion the year before.

    The bank operates 186 branches, including a branch in London, and plans to open 17 more during 1997. Its subsidiary in Romania, Banca Bucuresti has nine branches after just two years in operation.

    Alpha Credit Bank employs 4,175 people, while the Alpha Credit Group has a total of 5,145 staff. Alpha Credit Group's four subsidiaries (Alpha Investments, Alpha Finance, Alpha Leasing and Delta Informatics) are listed on the Athens Stock Exchange.

    [24] IOBE survey on economy

    Athens, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    The Greek economy is in the midst of a successful process of gradual adjustment to Maastricht criteria, according to a quarterly survey of the Greek economy by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE).

    The survey said that led mainly by construction, a cyclical economic recovery is underway with disinflation allowing a faster reduction of interest rates.

    Net exports, however, continue to exert a negative effect on GDP growth. Overall, the economy in 1997 is expected to achieve a growth rate in excess of three percent, while consumer price inflation has fallen drastically in the last six months to April.

    The drop in inflation has been achieved partly on account of using a new weighting method for household surveys but mainly from a combination of favorable weather conditions that have kept agricultural prices down, and low imports inflation deriving from the hard drachma policy.

    IOBE notes, however, that the hard drachma has encouraged private foreign exchange borrowing at rates that complicate liquidity and current account control.

    The survey urges a rapid implementation of structural reforms in the labor market, saying that rising unemployment, already at high levels, is the heavy toll to pay for long delayed reforms in the labor market and social insurance system. Reforms should enhance competitiveness, promote employment and reduce the burden for future generations.

    [25] EU delays olive oil reforms until 1998

    Brussels, 22/5/1997 (Reuter/ANA)

    Proposals to combat fraud by reforming the way the European Union subsidizes olive oil producers, have been delayed until possibly early 1998, EU officials said on Tuesday. Producer countries, notably Spain, Italy and Greece, criticized European Commission projections of growing production surpluses and stagnant consumption at a meeting of EU farm ministers.

    Spain has strongly attacked EU Farm Commissioner Franz Fischler's preferred reform option that would link subsidies to the number of productive trees. The producers prefer an alternative that would retain the production-based subsidy system but would scrap special aid for small producers, seen as the main source of fraud.

    "Fischler will reflect on the differing views," a European Commission spokesman said, adding that all countries were agreed on the need for a simpler system and anti-fraud measures.

    In a report in February, the Commission noted that olive oil fraud was proportionately 10 times greater than for cereals and other crops. Fraud is rampant because of the difficulty of controlling the large number of small olive oil producers and preventing them from abusing the complex aid system.

    [26] ELBO co-operation with NATO allies considered

    Athens, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    Military officials and representatives of defense industries from 14 NATO member-states will propose to their respective governments joint production of military vehicles with the Hellenic Vehicles Industry (ELBO).

    Their intention was declared after yesterday's visit to ELBO's installations in Thessaloniki by representatives of the ninth SERA conference of the West European Union. The delegates were given a guided tour of the facilities and were briefed on the company's manufacturing programs by ELBO's top administration.

    [27] SEB's Stratos calls for specific time frame on 'social dialogue'

    Athens, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    Federation of Greek Industries (SEB) President Iason Stratos said on Tuesday that "social dialogue" must have a specific time frame.

    "Working people and we have achieved labor peace for many years now, enabling the shaping of conditions allowing for smooth operation," he said.

    The side of industry disagrees with whatever administrative intervention in preparing the national collective bargaining agreement.

    Replying to questions by the press on a report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), he said there is no full information.

    "However, it appears that the report pays particular attention to the need for structural changes necessary to restructure the wider public sector, which means a need for greater market deregulation," he added.

    Mr. Stratos pointed in this way to the issue, which SEB has also raised, of a more flexible policy in the labor sector.

    He said that changes proposed by the IMF, as well as the government's statements and the main opposition party's positions, show that there is no objection to these policies being implemented.

    [28] Gov't responds to OECD report on Greece's pension funds

    Athens, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    Replying to questions by the press yesterday on the content of a report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) concerning pension funds in Greece, Labor and Social Security Minister Miltiades Papaioannou said reports by international organizations do not constitute government decisions.

    According to a report in yesterday's newspaper "Ta Nea", the OECD report proposes tough measures for pension funds aimed at avoiding an explosive upsurge in the pension system's debts.

    Among others, OECD proposes an increase in pensioning ceilings, the strengthening of reciprocity through an "improvement" in the relation between contributions and benefits and control and restriction of early pensioning measures in cases of industrial restructuring.

    [29] Greece opposes EU change in calculating olive oil subsidies

    Brussels, 22/5/1997 (ANA)

    Five members of the European Union proposed yesterday that subsidies for olive oil production should be tied to actual production figures rather than the number of olive trees.

    At the EU Council of Agriculture Ministers meeting here, Agriculture Minister Stephanos Tzoumakas said that Greece joined Italy, Spain, Portugal and France in rejecting an EU proposal that subsidies be allocated according to the number of olive trees.

    Mr. Tzoumakas also called for an increase in EU funds allocated to the agricultural sector, more subsidies for olive oil consumption and the setting of national subsidy levels. He also warned that allowing olive and seed oil blends on the market would lead to extensive fraud and would harm the interests of consumers.

    Greece will participate with a national pavilion at the International Furniture Fair '97 in Tokyo in November 26-29, the Hellenic Organization for External Trade said yesterday. The fair will showcase home, office and kitchen furnishings, hotel equipment, lighting and fabrics.

    Any firms hoping to participate can call the organization in Athens on 998-2100 and in Thessaloniki 031-262-120. Submissions close on June 10.

    End of English language section.


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