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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 97-08-12

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

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

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 1261), August 12, 1997

Greek Press & Information Office
Ottawa, Canada
E-Mail Address:


  • [01] UN-led Cyprus peace talks resume in Switzerland
  • [02] ..... UN Secretary General
  • [03] ..... Kyprianou
  • [04] Contract signed for modernization of Phantoms
  • [05] Hailstorm in Larissa devastates crops
  • [06] Feminist theologians to meet in Crete
  • [07] Yugoslav Foreign Minister begins visit
  • [08] Athens '97 director counters charges by IAAF president
  • [09] Italian press praises Athens
  • [10] Fouras sums up mood after 6th World Athletics Championships
  • [11] Otters reappear in Larissa after 35-year absence
  • [12] Papamihail leaves the footlights
  • [13] Alpha Credit Bank expects high profits, report says
  • [14] Allianz capital rises
  • [15] Greek stocks finish 0.48 pct down on profit-taking
  • [16] Greece's Xiosbank boosts loans to SMEs
  • [17] Completion of TVX Hellas investment called for
  • [18] Information on SMEs provided through Internet

  • [01] UN-led Cyprus peace talks resume in Switzerland

    Montreux, 12/8/1997 (ANA-D. Konstantakopoulos/CNA)

    The United Nations (UN) will not enter an immediate discussion of the fundamental aspects of the Cyprus problem at this round of talks, but instead suggests an incremental process with a discussion of a revised U N non-paper.

    In statements prior to a working lunch that opened the second round of UN-sponsored talks between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, the UN Secretary General's special advisor Diego Cordovez said he expects both leaders to co-operate for a settlement.

    The Cyprus peace talks resumed yesterday with a working-lunch hosted by Mr. Cordovez at the Hotel Righi Vaudois, in the tranquil mountain resort Glion-sur-Montreux, Switzerland.

    The first round was held in Troutbeck, New York, between July 9-12 and was opened by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

    Mr. Cordovez said the UN wants to change the procedure used in the talks so far. "We are trying to institute a process that is different", he said, noting that in the past the leaders came to the talks with the idea that they would solve all the problems.

    He also clarified that the non-paper which he handed to the two leaders during the first round of discussions was not a settlement to the 23-year-old Cyprus problem.

    "The paper I gave them is not the solution. These are simply some guidelines to be taken into account. The difference is we are having what I call an incremental process. That is to say, they will meet from time to time and each time take it from where they left it and proceed forward", the UN official said.

    To a question that the Greek Cypriot side believes the basic issue should be agreed on first, Mr. Cordovez said that "this is what they have been trying to do for 23 years and failed".

    What he suggest now is to go "into a process of discussing and negotiating on the actual document, on the actual legal text, and in the process of doing that they will start settling all these problems. And in settling all these problems there will be real negotiations".

    Mr. Cordovez further explained that the leaders would be able to choose the aspects of the Cyprus problem they want to discuss each time they meet and "try to bridge the differences between them and go on to the next aspect".

    He added that with this process the leaders of the two communities will not start their next meeting from zero, as in the past.

    Asked if the two leaders will start trading off on all aspects of the Cyprus problem, Mr. Cordovez said "not on all the aspects, on certain aspects", but did not specify which, noting it is up to the leaders to decide.

    Invited to say what he would consider a success in this specific round of talks, Mr. Cordovez replied he expects all "to continue to work with a sense that we are involved in a process", noting "you cannot solve the Cyprus problem in four days".

    Asked what he expects from the two leaders during this round of negotiations, Mr. Cordovez said "I expect them to co-operate with me and particularly with themselves. It is in their interest".

    Mr. Cordovez declined comment on last week's agreement between Turkey and the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus calling for the latter's partial integration into Turkey.

    Defending the UN directive on a news blackout during the first and second round of talks, he said the negotiations were a very "dynamic process", which premature publicity could threaten by making it "rigid".

    The UN envoy described a meeting he had in Geneva earlier yesterday with Britain's special representative on Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, as "excellent".

    The lunch was to break off yesterday afternoon for a photo opportunity at the hotel Righi Vaudois.

    From then on there will be no other media access at the site of the five-day negotiations as the UN has insisted on a blackout.

    On his arrival at Geneva Sunday, Mr. Denktash said he was not prepared to be pressured into compromise.

    He spoke negatively on prospects for a deal, reiterating his view that insistence on Cyprus' European perspective is not compatible with the UN-led direct negotiations.

    He also criticized the European Union (EU) decision to start accession talks with Cyprus and said he wants it reversed "because it has stopped the negotiating process".

    The EU has invited Cyprus along with five central European nations to start accession talks early next year.

    [02] ..... UN Secretary General

    Stockholm, 12/8/1997 (ANA-N. Servetas)

    UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said the Turkish agreement with the pseudo-state for partial integration "does not help negotiations, but I hope it will not become an obstacle".

    Mr. Annan, who is visiting Sweden officially, made the statement following a question by ANA.

    He added that "significant progress" had been made on the Cyprus issue since the Troutbeck talks and expressed the hope that further progress would be made.

    "It's obvious that one cannot expect great progress in long standing problems of this sort. But we shall work hard at solving the problem. It's not an easy case, but we shall insist," he said.

    [03] ..... Kyprianou

    Athens, 12/8/1997 (ANA)

    Cypriot House of Representatives Speaker Spyros Kyprianou told ANA in reaction to Mr. Cordovez's statements that contrary to what the latter claimed, during the last 23 years the basic aspects of the Cypriot problem had not been discussed, and that negotiations had been limited to the constitutional aspect.

    Mr. Kyprianou is in Montreux along with the other Cypriot political party leaders who are consulting President Clerides during the UN-led talks.

    [04] Contract signed for modernization of Phantoms

    Athens, 12/8/1997 (ANA)

    The contract relating to the modernization of 39 Hellenic Airforce F-4 Phantom jets by the German company DASA, in co-operation with the Hellenic Aerospace Industry (EAB), was signed yesterday between the General Air Force Staff, EAB, and the director of DASA's military department.

    At the end of July, the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defense (KYSEA) had officially awarded the 87 billion drachma tender to the German DASA, whose bid was 8 billion drachmas lower than that of an American bidder.

    EAB will undertake to modernize the Phantom jets' skeleton at a cost of 5.5 billion drachmas, while DASA will upgrade their electronic components. The average cost of modernization per aircraft is estimated at $8 million (compared with $11 million Turkey recently agreed).

    In July, National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos had described the deal as very satisfactory, as it provided for a solution of a long-standing problem.

    [05] Hailstorm in Larissa devastates crops

    Athens, 12/8/1997 (ANA)

    A hailstorm in Larissa, central Greece, has devastated thousands of hectares of cotton, corn and other crops, plunging farmers from 17 local communities into despair.

    The hailstorm, which lasted for about 45 minutes and rained hail the size of walnuts, totally destroyed the crops, which unofficial estimates put at 6,000 hectares, causing hundreds of millions of drachma in damages.

    The hailstorm, accompanied by strong winds, also uprooted trees and swept away roofs from a number of homes.

    Two months ago, another hailstorm destroyed an estimated 80-90 percent of seasonal crops in Kavala, northern Greece.

    [06] Feminist theologians to meet in Crete

    Athens, 12/8/1997 (ANA)

    Women theologians from all over Europe will meet in Crete next week for the 7th international conference of the European Society of Women in Theological Research (ESWTR) to discuss new approaches in feminist theology.

    An ESWTR spokeswoman said more than 200 women theologians from almost all European countries would be discussing the theme "Source and Resources of Feminist Theologies".

    Observers from Palestine, India, Tunisia and the United States as well as 50 delegates from eastern Europe, 30 Greek Orthodox and three Moslem theologians would be attending the conference, to be held from August 17-21 at the Orthodox Academy at Kolymbari in Chania. One aspect of the conference, according to the spokeswoman, "addresses the issue of the text sources and traditions to which women theologians refer", while another aspect "refers to the source of spiritual strength from which women draw and which nourishes their commitment to a renewal in the way they speak of the Divine and their quest for a just world", the spokeswoman added.

    Keynote speakers include Old Testament scholar Silvia Schroer (Switzerland), Kyriaki Karidojannis-Fitzgerald (Greece), Joan Martin (US), Letizia Tommassone (Italy), and Ulrike Bechmann (Germany).

    The ESWTR was set up in 1985 by eminent women theologians to address the need for networking, support and international exchanges in women's theological studies. The conference languages will be German, English and French.

    [07] Yugoslav Foreign Minister begins visit

    Athens, 12/8/1997 (ANA)

    Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Foreign Minister Milan Milutinovic yesterday began an official two-day visit to Greece during which he will have talks with his counterpart Theodoros Pangalos.

    Mr. Milutinovic' talks with Mr. Pangalos this afternoon are expected to cover developments in the Balkans and bilateral issues related to economic and political co-operation.

    According to informed sources, the talks will focus in particular on the progress in the implementation of the Dayton peace accord on Bosnia, the summit meeting of Balkan countries in Crete in November and the promotion of Greek investments in Yugoslavia.

    A number of Greek public and private sector companies are active or wish to become active in the neighboring country, including the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) concerning the purchase of part of the equivalent Serbian organization.

    Several major Greek construction companies have expressed interest in the construction of the European E75 highway.

    [08] Athens '97 director counters charges by IAAF president

    Athens, 12/8/1997 (ANA)

    The General Director of the 'Athens 97' World Athletics Championships, Vangelis Savramis, yesterday countered charges by International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) President Primo Nebiolo that the Championships were a success only because the IAAF had "lent a hand".

    "We carried this wonderful championship to a successful end alone, and everyone who was involved in it one way or another knows this. The only thing Mr. Nebiolo did was to continuously create problems for the organizers. He created problems regarding the seating, the protocol, who was going to sit where," he said.

    The IAAF president, who is also honorary president of Rome's Candidacy Committee for the 2004 Olympic Games, for which Athens is also competing, made a stinging attack against the Greek organizers in the course of a television interview with the MEGA channel last night, describing them as "mediocrities".

    "We didn't find a team of high specifications here. We found mediocrities... We had people of our own who worked until four in the morning for this championship to take place, and not develop into a tragedy. And you believe that we came here to make war ," he said.

    Mr. Nebiolo, who was jeered by the crowd during the concluding ceremony of the championships on Sunday night on account of critical comments regarding low attendance on the opening day of the games, insinuated that the attitude of the crowd had been part of an organized plan.

    "If some individual led the Greek press to write figments of the imagination, things irresponsible and beyond reality, he made the worst propaganda for 'Athens 2004'. International athletic executives will never want to come to Athens again," he claimed .

    He did not restrict himself to sports matters, saying that the Greeks had "economic and political problems, problems with FYROM (which he termed 'Macedonia'), with Cyprus, the treaty of Maastricht, a serious problem with unemployment," and that "the Olympiad is not going to solve your problems".

    Greek Olympic Committee Chairman Lambis Nikolaou said Mr. Nebiolo's attack against Greece would work in favor of the Athens 2004 candidacy given that he is disliked by many among the members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

    Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos commented Mr. Nebiolo had functioned as the honorary president of the Rome Olympic Bid Committee, rather than as the President of the IAAF.

    [09] Italian press praises Athens

    Rome, 12/8/1997 (ANA - S. Aravopoulou)

    The press in Italy yesterday carried articles praising Athens for the excellent work it had done in organizing the Athens '97 6th World Athletics Championships, placing emphasis on the final day and on an account of the performance of the Italian team.

    Italian newspapers focused on the champions, especially Sergei Bubka (pole vault gold medalist, winning his 6th gold in Athens).

    "There could really be no better promotion of the Greek capital's candidacy for the 2004 Olympic Games than its organization of the world championships, which had only very few faults that were fixed", said a journalist of "La Stampa" covering the championships in Athens.

    IAAF president Primo Nebiolo in statements to the sports newspaper "La Gazzeta Dello Sport" also referred to the perfect organization of the international meeting by Athens. "The organization by Greece was of a very high level and a great spectacular event in terms of athletics. The International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) created a marvelous event which propagates the Olympic ideals to the world", said Mr. Nebiolo.

    [10] Fouras sums up mood after 6th World Athletics Championships

    Athens, 12/8/1997 (ANA)

    Sports Under-secretary Andreas Fouras yesterday expressed displeasure at the stance of IAAF President Primo Nebiolo during the 6th World Athletics Championships which ended here Sunday night.

    Mr. Nebiolo was widely perceived in Greece as having tried to belittle Athens in order to increase Rome's chances of being selected to stage the 2004 Olympic Games. Athens and Rome are bidding for the 2004 Games, along with Buenos Aires, Stockholm and C ape Town.

    The successful organization of the 6th World Athletics Championships held in Athens from 1-10 August was seen as essential to Greece' bid for the Olympics. Replying to reporters' questions on the booing of Mr. Nebiolo by athletics fans at last night's c losing ceremony, Mr. Fouras said:

    "The intuition of the people is infallible. The disapproval expressed was only to be expected. To be honest, I too was annoyed by his stance."

    Turning to the issue of ticket sales for the championships, Mr. Fouras directly accused the IAAF saying: "They told us as far back as May that 17,000 'packages' had been sold abroad. At the moment, nobody can say for certain what happened. But a committee has already been set up under Sports general secretary Yiannis Sgouros, which will examine all the facts and announce its findings soon."

    Replying to other questions, Mr. Fouras said the total cost of staging the championships would be close to 11 billion drachmas.

    [11] Otters reappear in Larissa after 35-year absence

    Athens, 12/8/1997 (ANA)

    Otters have reappeared in the vicinity of Larissa, Thessaly, after a 35-year absence, signaling a revival in the area's ecosystem and surprising biologists with a rare phenomenon.

    The otters, water-going mammals, belong to a protected species in all European countries whose population had been obliterated due to environmental pollution and hunting for the use of their fur.

    The otters disappeared from Thessaly following the draining of Lake Karla in 1962-3, but have been sighted again in canals, irrigation channels and reservoirs in the villages of Namata, Eleftheriou, Koumia, and Platykambos.

    Their reappearance in the area shows that wetlands, where wild species nest, are becoming revived, while the otter's main staple of fish has seen an increase due to cleaner water and less pollution.

    [12] Papamihail leaves the footlights

    Athens, 12/8/1997 (ANA)

    Actor Dimitris Papamihail has announced his decision to retire from the stage and to teach drama at a new stage school, "Iasmos", founded by veteran actor Vasilis Diamantopoulos, who has been training actors at a drama workshop for the last ten years.

    Mr. Papamihail, who was once married to the late actress Aliki Vouyouklaki, with whom he starred in many films in the 1950s and 1960s, first appeared in ancient Epidaurus 42 years ago in a performance of "Hippolytus". He went on to play in 30 classical theater performances, as well as dozens of films and plays.

    [13] Alpha Credit Bank expects high profits, report says

    Athens, 12/8/1997 (ANA)

    Alpha Credit Bank revenues are expected to climb to 60 billion drachmas for 1997, while turnover is expected to reach 203 billion drachmas, according to a Hoare Govett report yesterday.

    Hoare Govett is a subsidiary of ABN Amro bank.

    According to the report, the turnover for 1998 will reach 243.14 billion drachmas, while profits will come close to 74.27 billion drachmas.

    The group's results are also expected to be very high for 1999, with turnover forecast at 278.31 billion drachmas and profits to 85.94 billion drachmas.

    If the bank's management follows the same dividend policy, the report said, shareholders' should expect to collect a 956 drachmas dividend for 1998 and 1,107 drachmas for 1999.

    [14] Allianz capital rises

    Athens, 12/8/1997 (ANA)

    Capital of the Allianz insurance company has been showing an increase of 11 per cent, reaching 46.5 billion drachmas by end of July.

    Allianz provides five types of mutual funds to investors. Of these, the unit linked is a mutual fund of mixed type (shares and bonds), including a life insurance contract necessary.

    [15] Greek stocks finish 0.48 pct down on profit-taking

    Athens, 12/8/1997 (ANA)

    Equity prices ended moderately lower on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday, reversing a three-day rally. Investors preferred to cash in major gains from previous days, and the absence of follow-through orders helped in the reversal of the trend.

    Trading was moderate and turnover was 13.2 billion drachmas.

    The general index closed at 1,631.62 points, down 0.48 percent, with all sector indices losing ground.

    Banks fell 0.52 percent, Leasing was 1.20 percent off, Insurance eased 1.27 percent, Investment fell 0.36 percent, Construction dropped 2.63 percent, Industrials were 0.36 percent off, Holding eased 0.59 percent and Miscellaneous plunged 3.27 percent.

    The parallel market for smaller companies bucked the trend to end 0.20 percent higher. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 133 to 68 with another 28 issues unchanged. Inform Lykos, Heliofin, European Trust and Tria Alpha scored the bigger percentage gains, while Halyps Cement, Keranis and Elfico suffered the heaviest losses. Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) shares rose 50 drachmas to end at 6,495. National Bank of Greece ended at 37,700 drachmas, Ergobank at 17,570, Alpha Credit Bank at 20,070, Titan at 15,000 and Intracom at 13,360.

    The rampant US dollar eased against the drachma in the domestic foreign exchange market.

    [16] Greece's Xiosbank boosts loans to SMEs

    Athens, 12/8/1997 (ANA)

    Xiosbank has extended loan products for small and medium sized enterprises with average 1997 loan balances for firms in Attica likely to exceed five billion drachmas.

    Xiosbank said in a statement yesterday it made the forecast on the basis of first half figures that showed the loans would easily surpass original targets.

    First half balances for loans to small and medium sized enterprises nationwide totaled six billion drachmas, the statement said.

    Xiosbank also announced its weekly interest rate adjustments.

    * XiosAlma deposit account at 9.925 percent on an annual basis with interest paid monthly.

    * Base business loan rate unchanged at 17.5 percent.

    [17] Completion of TVX Hellas investment called for

    Athens, 12/8/1997 (ANA)

    The Northern Greek Association of Industries (SBBE) called in a statement yesterday for the immediate intervention of the government for the completion of the investment by TVX Hellas, which has undertaken to exploit the gold deposits in Halkidiki.

    SBBE considers that the investment is "particularly important for the development of Halkidiki and northern Greece, more generally," adding that "the observance by all sides of the commitments undertaken is a necessary condition for the unimpeded implementation of the biggest investment of the last few years in our country".

    It opposes the "unilateral and illegal actions which endanger the implementation of the investment."

    "The two-year delay has resulted in significant losses for the company, besides the fact that our country acquires a bad reputation in the investment public abroad," the SBBE statement concludes.

    [18] Information on SMEs provided through Internet

    Athens, 12/8/1997 (ANA)

    Information on small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) and on the European Union's research and development policy is provided through the Internet, the latest issue of 'Eur-Op News' writes.

    The addresses are as follows:

    -BC-Net (Network for finding possible clients):

    -EudraNET (for the pharmaceuticals industry):

    -Copdris (information about the European Union's research and development policy):

    -I'am Europe (access to many databases regarding EU issues) :

    End of English language section.

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