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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 97-08-13

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 1262), August 13, 1997

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


  • [01] Greece and Yugoslavia support Dayton accord on Bosnia as it stands
  • [02] ... on bilateral relations
  • [03] Greek troops company to stay on in Albania
  • [04] Burgas, Alexandroupoli become sister cities
  • [05] Thousands visit Mt. Athos exhibition
  • [06] Bulgaria, Greece: Co-operation in sea research
  • [07] IAAF chief comes under heavy Greek fire for improprieties
  • [08] .... Political parties
  • [09] Greece's Olympic Committee receives letters of congratulations
  • [10] Beach party for Athens 2004
  • [11] Heavy rain causes problems in Athens
  • [12] No vote for 16-year olds
  • [13] Seismology conference
  • [14] Greek stocks end flat in dull trade
  • [15] Greek exports mark considerable increase
  • [16] Greek and Turkish businessmen to meet
  • [17] Hailstorm causes 4 billion dr. in damages
  • [18] New company enters stock exchange parallel market
  • [19] Ericsson recalls half of its 788 mobile model

  • [01] Greece and Yugoslavia support Dayton accord on Bosnia as it stands

    Athens, 13/08/1997 (ANA)

    Greece and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia yesterday expressed their opposition to any attempt to revise the Dayton peace accord on Bosnia, during talks between Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and his visiting Yugoslav counterpart Milan Milutinovic .

    "We support the Dayton agreement as it stands," Mr. Milutinovic told reporters after the talks, adding that all three sides in Bosnia were responsible for its implementation.

    "It is wrong to attribute responsibility to only one side," Mr. Milutinovic said, implying the Bosnian Serbs.

    Mr. Pangalos said Greece was in favor of Yugoslavia's "immediate incorporation in international life and international organizations" and the immediate re-examination of the country's European perspective.

    "We unreservedly condemn the policy of discrimination against Yugoslavia," Mr. Pangalos said, expressing disagreement with the policy of imposing new conditions on the neighboring country "which postpone indefinitely its re-entry to international life" .

    Mr. Milutinovic said Belgrade appreciated Greece's "dynamic" support for his country's speedy return to international organizations "from which we were so unjustly barred".

    In order for there to be co-operation in the Balkans, he said, "we must be equal".

    Mr. Milutinovic handed an invitation to Mr. Pangalos for Prime Minister Costas Simitis to visit Belgrade, which will most likely take place towards the end of the year.

    [02] ... on bilateral relations

    Athens, 13/08/1997 (ANA)

    Mr. Milutinovic, who began an official two-day visit to Greece Monday, said his talks with Mr. Pangalos had focused on issues of co-operation and the promotion of bilateral relations, which Mr. Pangalos described as "excellent".

    The Greek side pledged to facilitate the movement of Yugoslav citizens to Greece by establishing a consular office in Nis and the opening of credits totaling 100 million dollars for the promotion of Greek investments in the neighboring country.

    Mr. Pangalos said also that ministers of the two countries would exchange visits and meetings would be held between the Greek and Yugoslav military leaderships.

    The Greek foreign minister expressed Athens' interest in Greek engineering companies participating in the construction of the Belgrade-Skopje road axis.

    "Greek investments in Yugoslavia are considerable and we shall continue to back them with all possible means," Mr. Pangalos said.

    Mr. Milutinovic noted that "dynamic penetration" by Greek companies in the economic sector had been absent in the past, stressing that Greek economic presence constituted "a basis for the development of our future relations".

    The two sides also discussed visa issues, with Mr. Pangalos saying that although Athens' hands were tied following ratification of the Schengen agreement, Greece was exploring the possibility of a special system applying to Balkan countries and special treatment for frequent visitors to Greece, such as scientists and businessmen.

    Saying he was in favor of the abolition of visa requirements, the Yugoslav minister added that he understood the Schengen agreement but could not understand the inequality with respect to the different countries of former Yugoslavia. "The Schengen agreement provides for privileges for certain countries while discriminating against others," he said.

    [03] Greek troops company to stay on in Albania

    Athens, 13/08/1997 (ANA)

    A company of Greek troops still in Albania after participating in the multinational protection force will remain in the neighboring country at the request of Albanian Defense Minister Sabit Brokaj.

    A Greek National Defense General Staff announcement yesterday said that Mr. Brokaj's request was within the framework of the bilateral co-operation protocol signed during the visit of a government delegation to Tirana on August 5.

    "The purpose of the remaining Greek company is to organize and train the Albanian armed forces, in co-operation with Greek military advisers," the announcement said, adding that the duration of the troops' stay would be determined "in a subsequent agreement".

    [04] Burgas, Alexandroupoli become sister cities

    Athens, 13/08/1997 (ANA)

    A large delegation from the municipality of Alexandroupoli, headed by Mayor Eleftherios Gioftsidis, will leave on August 29 for the Bulgarian seaport of Burgas to sign a twinning protocol.

    The delegation will be made up of municipal councilors, representatives of prefectural local government, the Church, the town's labor center, the Union of Agricultural Co-operatives of Alexandroupoli and local sports officials.

    On the occasion of the twinning, Mr. Gioftsidis noted that it would not only be the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline which will link the two towns "since irrespective of progress in the (pipeline) project, it has been decided to open up new paths of co-operation in other important sectors".

    By way of indication, Mr. Gioftsidis referred to plans for co-operation in the sectors of the economy, tourism, commerce, culture and training, regarding which proposals have already been submitted by both sides.

    Burgas, located in SE Bulgaria on the Black Sea, is the country's chief export port. Alexandroupoli, an important commercial center, is situated in western Thrace on the Gulf of Ainos, an inlet of the northern Aegean Sea.

    [05] Thousands visit Mt. Athos exhibition

    Athens, 13/08/1997 (ANA)

    According to the Thessaloniki Cultural Capital Organization, 73,201 people visited the exhibition of 'The Treasures of Mount Athos' from June 21 until last Sunday.

    Revenue from tickets amounts to more than 100 million drachmas, while sales of the illustrated luxury catalogue, in Greek and English, costing 10,000 drachmas, has brought in more than 58 million drachmas.

    All proceeds will go to the monastic community.

    [06] Bulgaria, Greece: Co-operation in sea research

    Varna, 13/08/1997 (BTA/ANA)

    Bulgaria and Greece are expected to sign an agreement on co-operation in sea research at governmental level by the year's end, Oceanography Institute Director Assen Konsulov told BTA.

    Mr. Konsulov said that Director of the Athens-based Greek center for sea research George Chronis will pay a visit to the Oceanography Institute in September.

    "The experts of the Athens center have visited Varna on previous occasions to attend conferences and symposia. They know about the specific characteristics of the Black Sea but have never participated in our expeditions. They have much experience in research on various European and world projects," Mr. Konsulov said.

    Mr. Konsulov and Mr. Chronis will discuss projects concerning research in the Mediterranean and the world's oceans.

    [07] IAAF chief comes under heavy Greek fire for improprieties

    Athens, 13/08/1997 (ANA)

    International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) President Primo Nebiolo came under heavy fire yesterday from the Greek government, political parties and almost the entire Greek press following his tirade on Monday against the 'Athens '97' organizers and his claim that he had "saved" the 6th World Athletics Championships, which ended in Athens on Sunday.

    Mr. Nebiolo, who is also honorary chairman of the Rome bid committee for the 2004 Olympic Games, for which Athens is also a candidate, was widely perceived by Greeks as waging an underhand war against Athens' candidacy, nit-picking for lack of any serious problems to criticize during the 10-day athletics championships.

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos reacted sharply to Mr. Nebiolo's comments during an interview to a Greek private TV station that Greece had economic and political problems, problems with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), with Cyprus, the Maastricht Treaty, a serious problem with unemployment and that "the Olympic Games are not going to solve your problems".

    "Mr. Nebiolo should understand that sports officials are not entitled to talk about politics," Mr. Pangalos told reporters after talks with his Yugoslav counterpart Milan Milutinovic.

    "Mr. Nebiolo committed a great impropriety. He violated a basic rule of all sports officials and fans, which is not to mix politics with sport," Mr. Pangalos added.

    The minister said the IAAF chief was "not well informed about Greece's international relations. Greece has excellent relations with all its neighbors, except Turkey". Mr. Pangalos noted that Italy had problems with its neighbors, citing the example of Slovenia, whose relations with the European Union were obstructed by Rome.

    On the level of crime in Greece, Mr. Pangalos said the situation had not required the intervention of the army, "as happens frequently in Italy in order to combat the Mafia, which the neighboring country exports to the rest of the world".

    "Despite this," he continued, "I would never say that the main characteristic of Italy is the Mafia and that Rome was not entitled to stage the Olympic Games. Rome will not be picked to stage the 2004 Games, quite simply because Athens is better."

    Mr. Pangalos expressed the view that it would be unjust if Rome were selected to host the 2004 Olympics because the city had staged the 1960 Olympics.

    Speaking on the Athens '97 championships, Mr. Nebiolo said: "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 in to a tragedy."

    Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos said it would be wrong to juxtapose Greece and Greek sports on one side and Mr. Nebiolo, on the other.

    Responding to Mr. Nebiolo's comments, Mr. Venizelos said, "we are obliged to give people and events their proper dimension, and it would be a mistake to believe that there is a bipolarity, with Greece and Greek sports on one pole and Mr. Nebiolo on the other".

    Mr. Venizelos said that the IAAF president "is a public personality, who was given generous access to the Greek mass media to express his views. And as a public personality, he is subject to criticism and evaluation by public opinion".

    Following the organizational, athletic and television success of the 6th IAAF world championships, Mr. Venizelos said that "this success is credited to Greece and no valid and credible international sports official has dared doubt this widely held belief".

    [08] .... Political parties

    Athens, 13/08/1997 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy party (ND) parliamentary spokesman Evangelos Meimarakis said in a statement that Mr. Nebiolo, "representing the specific interests of a candidate country for the 2004 Olympic Games, surpassed all limits, reaching the point of making an audacious interference in our country's domestic affairs."

    Furthermore, the statement said, "he scorned the athletic movement which he is supposed to serve by refusing to declare the end of the games."

    Mr. Meimarakis rendered the government responsible for accepting Mr. Nebiolo's "whims and illogical demands."

    "Greece once again proved that it can successfully meet the requirements of international sports events and justifiably contest the 2004 Olympic Games," the statement said.

    Underlining the ND's "responsible stance" during the IAAF championships, it said the party "reserves itself to demand soon a full account of the financial aspect" of the games.

    The Communist party of Greece (KKE) in an announcement congratulated all the Greek athletes - as well as their coaches - who participated in the 6th World Athletics Championships. The announcement said that after a period of strenuous training, Greek athletes honored the country with their participation in the world championships.

    However, irrespective of the great performances by the Greek team and in spite of the good aspects of Greece's organization of the international event, KKE's central committee stressed that Athens '97 brought to light serious problems. KKE said "the great problems to a healthy organization and development of sports, as well as the government's responsibilities for the lack of substantial measures to foster popular athletics, were once again recorded".

    Finally, commenting on what it described as unacceptable statements by IAAF president Primo Nebiolo, the announcement said "the Greek people's disapproval (of Mr. Nebiolo's statements) should awaken all relevant officials, who should change their stance, starting from a reform of legislation in benefit of the sporting spirit".

    The Coalition of the Left and Progress (Syn) called Mr. Nebiolo's statements "unacceptable and provocative, exposing athletics and the world athletics community".

    Mr. Nebiolo should have expected to be booed during the closing of the IAAF games, following his earlier provocative statements last week, it said.

    Syn said this "creates a serious issue for the world federation of classical sports", citing as examples Mr. Nebiolo's "overall behavior during the last two weeks in Athens, spent in his personal promotion and serving multi-faceted ulterior motives".

    The party also criticized unnamed Greek officials who signed the agreement for the championships accepting terms of a "colonial nature" which in turn "emboldened Mr. Nebiolo, who thought he could behave as a conqueror in Greece".

    "In the birthplace of the Olympic spirit and Xenios (hospitable) Zeus, there is no place for the blasphemous," the Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) said.

    In its announcement, the party said that Mr. Nebiolo's "provocative and unacceptable statements and actions" but especially what he said on television "prove that there is something foul in the 'closed club' of those who infest the sector of classical athletics, which they show off like some sort of merchandise in international auctions".

    The party said the Greek officials "should have designated him a persona non grata and sent him back to his bosses".

    Political Spring (PolAn) party leader Antonis Samaras said, "We may not have made a world record in classical sports events, but we had Mr. Nebiolo break every record of audacity ... at the expense of self-respect, seriousness and the Olympic spirit".

    Mr. Nebiolo drew fire from almost all of the Greek press over his television interview, with front pages stories.

    High-circulation daily "Ta Nea" said that in a "Nebiolo delirium", the IAAF chief had made comments on foreign affairs issues of interest to Greece such as Cyprus, the Maastricht Treaty and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. "Eleftherotypia" carried a story on "Il Duce returns," calling his statements "Nebiolo's war against Greece", while "Apogevmatini" called his statements an outright "provocation" expressing "vehemence" against Greece. ANA

    [09] Greece's Olympic Committee receives letters of congratulations

    Athens, 13/08/1997 (ANA)

    The organization of the 6th World Athletics Championships in Athens, which has been described by many as perfect, has won the president of Greece's Olympic Committee (EOA) Lambis Nikolaou a couple of letters of congratulations, one by the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Juan Antonio Samaranch and one by the president of Italy's Olympic Committee, Mario Pescante.

    In his letter, Mr. Samaranch expressed his sincere congratulations "on the excellent organization of the 6th World Athletics Championships, as well as on the warm welcome the organizing committee in Athens gave the Olympic family".

    In his own letter of congratulations to Mr. Nikolaou, Mr. Pescante referred to the marvelous spectacle Greece had offered to the world through the opening ceremony of the 6th World Athletics Championships, saying: "The organization was perfect, the direction was wonderful and that's the least I can say".

    [10] Beach party for Athens 2004

    Athens, 13/08/1997 (ANA)

    Popular singer and songwriter Loukianos Kilaidonis is to hold a concert at a beach party in Vouliagmeni on August 18, the last of a series of concerts in aid of Athens' bid to host the 2004 Olympiad.

    Other singers on the program include Polly Panou, Manolis Mitsias, Eleni Dimou, Eleni Legaki-Konitopoulou, Glykeria, as well as the navy band and a Cephalonian choir.

    At a press conference yesterday to announce the performance, the Athens 2004 bid committee's president Ms. Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki declined to comment on comments by IAAF president Primo Nebiolo regarding Athens' ability to stage a major sporting event.

    "Our facilities, our public, the serious and responsible approach we have shown, prove in practice... that we are able, from every point of view, to hold the 2004 Olympic Games."

    The International Olympic Committee is to decide on the winning city on September 5 in Lausanne. The five candidate cities are Athens, Rome, Stockholm, Cape Town and Buenos Aires.

    [11] Heavy rain causes problems in Athens

    Athens, 13/08/1997 (ANA)

    The fire department yesterday received more than 60 calls as a result of the two-hour heavy rain in Attica which flooded basements, shops and store rooms. Many traffic lights were put out of order and many cars were immobilized.

    [12] No vote for 16-year olds

    Athens, 13/08/1997 (ANA)

    The Interior Ministry yesterday denied a report in the daily Kathimerini, according to which the government is considering giving 16-year olds the right to vote and introducing the proportional representation system in the next municipal elections.

    [13] Seismology conference

    Athens, 13/08/1997 (ANA)

    Over 1,000 distinguished experts are expected to attend an international conference on seismology and geophysics which begins in Thessaloniki on August 18.

    At a press conference yesterday, Professor Vasilis Papazachos of the Geophysical Laboratory attributed the high attendance of foreign experts to the fact that the Aegean and the Greek substrata in general are of interest seismically - Greece ranks sixth in the world with regard to frequency of seismic phenomena.

    One of the 1,500 papers being presented at the conference concerns continental drift - that of the Aegean and African substrata towards each other at the total rate of six centimeters per year.

    [14] Greek stocks end flat in dull trade

    Athens, 13/08/1997 (ANA)

    Equity prices ended with minor changes yesterday after subdued trading on the Athens Stock Exchange. Investors were absent ahead of a three-day holiday weekend with the market experiencing a drop in business following the traditional August rally. Trade was thin and turnover was 7.2 billion drachmas.

    The general index remained unchanged at 1,631.68 points, and sector indices traded within range.

    Banks eased 0.18 percent, Leasing fell 0.34 percent, Insurance rose 1.29 percent, Investment dropped 0.70 percent, Industrials increased 0.36 percent, Construction fell 1.41 percent, Holding rose 0.28 percent and Miscellaneous increased 0.64 percent.

    The parallel market for smaller companies ended 0.13 percent off.

    Broadly, declining issues led advancing ones by 125 to 83 with another 27 unchanged.

    Demetriades, Pireaus Fund, Radio Athina and Intertype scored the biggest percentage gains while Elfico and Athinea suffered the heaviest losses of the day.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 37,705 drachmas, Ergobank at 17,700, Alpha Credit Bank at 19,860, Titan Cement at 15,200, Intracom at 13,450 and Hellenic Telecommunications Organization at 6,500.

    [15] Greek exports mark considerable increase

    Athens, 13/08/1997 (ANA)

    The export of Greek products has continued its upward trend of recent years, having recorded a considerable increase of 6.6 percent in 1996. Germany has been the main importer of Greek products, of which knitwear - in spite of a downward trend - enjoys first place in the country's exports, followed by fuel, olive oil and cotton.

    According to data by the Institute of Export Research and Studies, trade transactions in 1996 totaled ECU 30 billion, of which ECU 8 billion related to exports and ECU 21 billion to imports. European union countries remain at the top of the list of Greece's exports, having absorbed 52 percent of all exports.

    However, eastern European countries, as well as countries in the rest of Europe are picking up, with 31.3 percent and 35.1 percent respectively in the import of Greek products.

    In the past two years, the Middle East market has also been improving its position in the list of importers of Greek products.

    Italy ranks second in the import of Greek products, followed by Great Britain, France, and the US.

    [16] Greek and Turkish businessmen to meet

    Athens, 13/08/1997 (ANA)

    Greek businessmen from the Aegean will meet Turkish counterparts in Izmir from August 20 to 30.

    The meeting is organized by the Union of Young businessmen from the Aegean on the Turkish side, and by regional chambers on the Greek side.

    [17] Hailstorm causes 4 billion dr. in damages

    Athens, 13/08/1997 (ANA)

    Initial estimates said that 4 billion dr. in damages was caused to seasonal crops in the Thessaly plain after a devastating hailstorm on Saturday.

    About 3 billion dr. damages were caused to the cotton crop.

    Agriculture Minister Stephanos Tzoumakas said yesterday the farmers suffering crop losses would be compensated by the ELGA farmers' insurance fund.

    Thousands of hectares of cotton, corn and other crops were destroyed in Larissa, central Greece, in a hailstorm that lasted 45 minutes and rained hail the size of walnuts.

    Farmers from the Damasio village in central Greece yesterday 'invaded' the city of Larissa with about 60 tractors, demanding prompt and adequate compensation for the extensive destruction of crops in a recent hailstorm.

    The action involved blocking of central roads, and meetings with regional and prefectural authorities, on whom they impressed the need for compensation to be disbursed before Christmas and the freezing of debts for 5 years.

    [18] New company enters stock exchange parallel market

    Athens, 13/08/1997 (ANA)

    Shares of the Epiphania company will start trading on the Athens Stock Exchange parallel market as of August 19.

    Distribution of shares to new shareholders will start on August 18.

    The company's shares were oversubscribed 23.4 times, to a total of 13.1 billion drachmas.

    [19] Ericsson recalls half of its 788 mobile model

    Athens, 13/08/1997 (ANA)

    The Swedish-based telecommunications company Ericsson has recalled nearly 20,000 of a new mobile phone model sold in Greece, following problems in connections with the local network.

    The Ericsson 788 phone was launched amid great optimism, since demand exceeded supply, according to market specialists.

    Its problem however in compatibility with the Greek network led to its recall for replacement of software or the whole appliance and to a drop in Ericsson's share in the mobile phone market, from 65 per cent to 55-60 per cent.

    According to estimates, the recalled mobiles amount to over half of this particular model sold in the Greek market.

    End of English language section.

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