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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 97-08-19

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 1266), August 19, 1997

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


  • [01] Gov't calls on Turkey to end 'policy of blackmail' over Cyprus
  • [02] Foreign ministry announcement
  • [03] Turkey should be condemned, Greek Eurodeputy says
  • [04] EU to continue to work for Cyprus solution
  • [05] NBC poll says Athens best choice 2004 Olympics
  • [06] Vartholomeos: Wish for better relations between Orthodoxy, Vatican
  • [07] Decree to give EU citizens right to vote in municipal elections
  • [08] Feminist theologians' conference opens
  • [09] Greek Culture Foundation for Melbourne
  • [10] Diaspora festival
  • [11] Actor playing role of Judas found hanging on stage
  • [12] World's seismologists meet in Thessaloniki
  • [13] Court rules in favor of Laliotis in libel suit
  • [14] Gov't approves subsidized investments by Delta Informations Systems
  • [15] Sarantopoulos firm awarded ISO 9002
  • [16] Greek stocks tumble in thin market
  • [17] Xios Bank expands activities
  • [18] New rates for treasury bill issues
  • [19] Clarifications

  • [01] Gov't calls on Turkey to end 'policy of blackmail' over Cyprus

    Athens, 19/08/1997 (ANA)

    Foreign Under-secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis warned Ankara yesterday against continuing what he called its "policy of blackmail" on the Cyprus issue, stressing that this policy along with its refusal to co-operate on the 23-year-old problem would harm Turkey 's hopes of joining Europe.

    In an interview published yesterday in the Athens daily "Ta Nea", the Greek under-secretary contended that the breakdown of direct talks in Switzerland last week between Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash was not only the responsibility of the latter, but of the Turkish government as well.

    "It's very unfortunate that Denktash has found a sympathizer within the Turkish government in the person of Bulent Ecevit. These two supporters of pan-Turkish nationalism are not interested in seeking a just solution to the Cyprus issue, but in fully incorporating occupied Cypriot territory into Turkey."

    According to Mr. Kranidiotis, at the UN-sponsored talks near Montreux last week the Turkish side's goal was to stall the process of Cyprus' accession to the European Union as well as the installation of Russian-made S-300 missiles in Cyprus.

    He stressed that the Cypriot government had come to the negotiating table in a "constructive mood". "I believe that both Cyprus and Greece, with their consistent stance, have already made the right impression. The international community knows which side is in the right and which is acting unjustly. Therefore, it is up to (the international community) to attribute the blame for the deadlock to the Turkish side and not to equate the victimizer with the victim," emphasized the Under-secretary.

    Mr. Kranidiotis said the text presented at the talks by UN mediator Diego Cordovez contained several weak points, although it nevertheless "confirmed the need for the unified and indivisible sovereignty of the Cypriot Federation".

    "This I believe is a positive and significant development in favor of our positions and our policy," he added.

    With regard to the role of US presidential envoy on the Cyprus issue Richard Holbrooke, the under-secretary noted:

    "Mr. Holbrooke's role should be auxiliary to that of the United Nations. We expect Mr. Holbrooke to exercise his influence on the Turkish side so that it co-operates in the international effort to solve the Cyprus issue based on international principles. "

    Mr. Kranidiotis also referred to Ankara's inability to realize that Cyprus' course towards EU membership is an EU decision, and that Turkey, a third country, "has no right to attempt to overturn it".

    He repeated a statement by Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, according to which "Greece would be willing to accept an improvement of Turkey's relations with the EU, if the former co-operates in finding a just and viable solution and ends its aggressive policy against Greece".

    Finally, he stressed that Turkish intransigence on the Cyprus issue will adversely affect the climate which the Madrid joint communiqui attempts to promote.

    Mr. Kranditiotis said he believes that the crucial period for the Cyprus issue will be 1998, following the presidential elections in Cyprus and the beginning of negotiations for the island republic's accession to the European Union.

    [02] Foreign ministry announcement

    Athens, 19/08/1997 (ANA)

    In an announcement yesterday, the foreign ministry called for continual vigilance and opposition to Turkish intransigence on the part of Greek and Cypriot political parties and of Greek communities around the world.

    Greece, the announcement stated, would be making diplomatic approaches to the United Nations Secretary General, all members of the UN Security Council and the European Union. Athens has also begun a briefing campaign of governments and media around the world.

    These moves, the foreign ministry added, were aimed at having the international community adopt positions that would permit the good services of the UN Secretary General to bear results and to deal with Turkish intransigence "so that the two communities in the island republic may live in harmony within the framework of a bi-communal and bi-zonal federation, according to UN resolutions and the summit agreements of 1977 and 1979".

    [03] Turkey should be condemned, Greek Eurodeputy says

    Athens, 19/08/1997 (ANA)

    The European Union must condemn Turkish Cypriot intransigence, which led to the deadlock of UN-led direct talks between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Eurodeputy Vassilis Efremidis said yesterday.

    In a question tabled in the European Parliament, Mr. Efremidis also called on the EU Council to take all necessary action and deflect threats by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and Turkish officials regarding the annexation of the island's Turkish- occupied north.

    [04] EU to continue to work for Cyprus solution

    Brussels, 19/08/1997 (Reuter)

    The European Commission, saying it would regret any obstacles in the hunt for a political solution in Cyprus, vowed yesterday to keep urging the Greek and Turkish communities on the divided island to talk to settle their differences.

    "We continue to encourage both parties to seek a negotiated solution to their differences," Commission spokesman Joao Vale de Almeida said.

    He was commenting on last week's failed UN talks in Switzerland.

    The spokesman was specifically asked to react to a threat by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to pull out of UN negotiations if talks between Cyprus and the European Union go ahead early next year. The European Union decided two years ago to open en try talks with Cyprus in 1998.

    But Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides, president of the internationally recognized Cypriot government which will negotiate on behalf of Cyprus, has vowed to pull out of any settlement negotiations if EU plans are delayed.

    Vale de Almeida reiterated that there had to be a politically negotiated solution on the island. "We have a strong position on this and we have not changed our view", he said.

    [05] NBC poll says Athens best choice 2004 Olympics

    New York, 19/08/1997 (ANA)

    Athens was by far the top choice to host the 2004 Olympic Games, according to a phone poll conducted by the US national television network NBC.

    The poll asked which of the five prospective cities - Athens, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Rome or Stockholm - should host the 2004 Olympics.

    The sample included 844 people, and was organized by NBC's media service department.

    Scores went as follows, in percentages: Athens 62, Cape Town 18, Buenos Aires 8, Stockholm 6 and Rome 5.

    [06] Vartholomeos: Wish for better relations between Orthodoxy, Vatican

    Athens, 19/08/1997 (ANA)

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos yesterday expressed a wish that relations between Orthodox Christianity and the Vatican be soon restored.

    The Patriarch made the statement upon concluding his visit to the eastern Aegean island of Hios.

    Vartholomeos said he expects a delegation from the Vatican to visit the See of the Orthodox Church at its Phanar district headquarters in Istanbul on November 30 - the day commemorating the founding of the Church of Constantinople by the Apostle Andreas .

    He added that the Phanar had not sent a similar delegation to the Vatican because there had been what he called a "small distress" recently.

    Earlier, Vartholomeos continued his official visit to the island of Hios with a short trip by helicopter to the nearby island of Psara yesterday.

    The Patriarch was invited officially by the Union of Mastich Producers of Hios to bless the trees producing mastich, a basic ingredient for the myrrh provided by the Patriarchate.

    During the first official visit of a Patriarch to Hios, Vartholomeos also visited a hospital on the island and was received at the island's historic monastery of Nea Moni, built in the 11th century by Byzantine Emperor Constantine Monomachus.

    He arrived on the island on Saturday.

    The Patriarch, who is returning to Istanbul today, also announced his forthcoming schedule, which includes a visit to the United States in October.

    [07] Decree to give EU citizens right to vote in municipal elections

    Athens, 19/08/1997 (ANA)

    Citizens of European Union countries who reside in Greece will have the right to vote and stand as candidates in this country's next municipal elections, according to a presidential decree being prepared by the interior, public administration and decentralization ministry.

    The decree, designed to bring in line Greek legislation with EU directives, does not establish the right of foreign nationals to be elected as mayors or heads of municipal councils, and sets as requirements a command of the Greek language, enrollment in the registers of the municipality they choose to stand as candidates, as well as possession of an electoral booklet.

    The relevant documents for enrollment in the electoral registers must be submitted by March 31, 1998.

    Finally, EU citizens will be eligible to vote only if they do not vote in their countries of origin.

    [08] Feminist theologians' conference opens

    Athens, 19/08/1997 (ANA)

    "Orthodox Christian spirituality and feminist theology generally reflect two very broad and vastly different types of world view and thinking, but also contain common points of interest," an Orthodox theologian told the 7th international conference of the European Society of Women in Theological Research (ESWTR), which opened here Sunday. "

    Thinking and re-thinking relationships, experience and process are main concerns of both feminist theology and Orthodox spirituality even if they operate within different traditions of thinking," Orthodox theologian Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald said.

    "It was a long journey for most of the 200 women theologians from 28 countries to come to Crete for the biggest ESWTR conference ever," Michaela Moser, the conference spokeswoman, told the ANA.

    The theme of the conference is "Sources and Resources of Feminist Theologies", and it focuses on the dialogue between Orthodox women theologians and Western feminist theologians with different religious backgrounds.

    "The journey towards true encounter and dialogue of women coming from different backgrounds is long, difficult and often painful," Karidoyanes FitzGerald added.

    Other keynote speakers at the conference, considered "the start of a difficult journey towards dialogue" between the East and West", and include Old Testament scholar Silvia Schroer from Switzerland, Joan Martin from the United States, Letizia Tomassone from Italy, and Ulrike Bechmann of Germany.

    Greek-Orthodox theologian Katerina Karkala-Zorba, a program coordinator at the Orthodox Academy in Crete, the venue of the conference, regards the development of international exchange with women from different denominations as one of the important areas of her work.

    Having invited the ESWTR to Crete, she believes the conference is a "milestone in the interconfessional and interorthodox dialogue of women".

    [09] Greek Culture Foundation for Melbourne

    Melbourne, 19/08/1997 (ANA - S. Hatzimanolis)

    A branch of the Greek Culture Foundation is to be set up in Melbourne in the near future, according to statements by the president of the interparliamentary committee on overseas Greeks Grigoris Niotis and General Secretary for Overseas Greeks Stavros Lambrinidis.

    Speaking at the World Conference of Hellenic Research Foundations, they added that other branches would open in other cities in the Diaspora with large Greek populations. The center in Melbourne is to be funded by the Foreign Ministry with the participation of the Australian authorities.

    Mr. Niotis also said that within 1988 "if everything goes according to plan", the Greek state television channels would be broadcast to Australia.

    [10] Diaspora festival

    Athens, 19/08/1997 (ANA)

    Australia's Greek community is to be represented by two dance troupes, the Sofia Haska and the Paroula Thurman companies, at the 1st Festival of Diaspora Artists at Athens' historic Herod Atticus Amphitheater on 22 and 23 September.

    [11] Actor playing role of Judas found hanging on stage

    Athens, 19/08/1997 (ANA)

    A British actor working at a hotel complex in Halkidiki prefecture was found hanging late on Sunday shortly after taking part in a play in which he was acting out the role of Judas.

    Tony Wheeler, 25, from London, had been participating in the "Jesus Christ Superstar" theatrical production, staged by the entertainment group of the hotel complex Sani, as part of its program for guests.

    His role called for walking up to the gallows, placing the noose around his neck and hanging himself as the spotlight was switched off him. A special hook would have allowed him to remain suspended while appearing to hang.

    When he failed to turn up later, a search revealed that Wheeler had actually died on the theatrical gallows. A doctor who performed an autopsy said, "There are indications of death by hanging", but could not say whether the death was accidental or not.

    [12] World's seismologists meet in Thessaloniki

    Athens, 19/08/1997 (ANA)

    Greece belongs in the highest seismic zone in the world, comprising an area stretching from Gibraltar to China, University of Thessaloniki Professor Vassilis Papazachos told an international seismology congress yesterday.

    During opening remarks at the 29th international congress on seismology and physics of the earth's interior at Thessaloniki, Mr. Papazachos also said that it was appropriate that Greece had been chosen as the venue for the congress, since its ground and especially the area of the Aegean comprised a natural geophysical laboratory.

    President of the International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth's Interior (IASPEI), Claude Froidevaux, said that the sea level at the Aegean was lower 20,000 years ago and said that the Mediterranean was non-existent as a water-filled basin 20 million years ago.

    He pointed out that Greece's high seismic activity was due to the African plate's moving northwards, due to pressure it received from surrounding oceans.

    The congress aims at providing solutions in facing seismic phenomena and in foreseeing them.

    The congress is organized by the University of Thessaloniki and scheduled to run for 10 days.

    [13] Court rules in favor of Laliotis in libel suit

    Athens, 19/08/1997 (ANA)

    An Athens first instance court yesterday ruled in favor of Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis, ordering the publisher of the Athens daily "To Onoma", Makis Psomiadis, to pay 30 million drachmas to the minister for libel.

    Mr. Laliotis sued the publisher and well-known nightclub owner after two front-page stories in "To Onoma" last February alleged that the minister had received a 4.5 billion kickback for the granting for major public works contracts.

    [14] Gov't approves subsidized investments by Delta Informations Systems

    Athens, 19/08/1997 (ANA)

    The development ministry recently approved new subsidized investment of 920 million drachmas by the Athens Stock Exchange-listed Delta Informations Systems.

    The subsidies will amount to 322 million, and will be aimed at creating a new division for the provision of software for operational applications in industry, co-operation with foreign firms, restructuring of the company on the basis of the quality standard ISO 9000, and overhauling premises with a view to increasing productivity.

    [15] Sarantopoulos firm awarded ISO 9002

    Athens, 19/08/1997 (ANA)

    The K.I. Sarantopoulos construction firm has been issued with the ISO 9002 quality certificate, covering all areas in which it is active, including suppliers and subcontractors.

    The total worth of projects awaiting construction by the company amount to 61.1 billion drachmas.

    New contracts include external supply systems at the new Athens airport at Spata, and an east-west highway in Albania, budgeted at six billion drachmas.

    [16] Greek stocks tumble in thin market

    Athens, 19/08/1997 (ANA)

    Equity prices came under strong pressure on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday to end sharply lower.

    Market participants said the pressure was more of a technical nature and that price swings were exacerbated by a lack of supply as the market had not returned to normal after a three day holiday.

    The general index closed 1.39 percent lower at 1,622.90 points. Sector indices lost ground. Banks fell 1.54 percent, Leasing eased 0.62 percent, Insurance declined 0.53 percent, Investment fell 1.98 percent, Industrials were 2.03 percent off, Construction eased 1.46 percent, Holding dropped 2.01 percent and Miscellaneous fell 1.76 percent. The parallel market for small cap companies index ended 1.21 percent lower. Trading was moderate and turnover was 7.8 billion drachmas.

    Broadly, declining issues led advancing ones by 149 to 46 with another 14 unchanged.

    Allatini, Alysida, Ideal and Balkan Export scored the biggest percentage gains, while Tzirakian Profil, Demetriades and Athinea suffered the heaviest losses of the day.

    Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) rose 60 drachmas to end at 6,610. National Bank of Greece ended at 37,000, Ergobank at 17,835, Alpha Credit Bank at 19,790, Delta Dairy at 4,200, Titan Cement at 14,870 and Intracom at 12,900.

    In the domestic foreign exchange market the dollar fell sharply against the drachma following a strong correction of the US currency in international markets.

    [17] Xios Bank expands activities

    Athens, 19/08/1997 (ANA)

    Xios Bank activities in the area of investment and financial services are showing significant growth, according to the bank's officials.

    Two years after commencing operations in 1994, the bank managed to conquer 5 per cent of the market. This year it has increased market share in lead managing loan issues for firms, bringing the total to 2.2 billion drachmas, compared to 1.9 billion for the whole of last year.

    It is also worth noting that Xios Bank has taken part in all 10 public subscriptions in 1997, compared to eight last year and six in 1995.

    [18] New rates for treasury bill issues

    Athens, 19/08/1997 (ANA)

    The finance ministry has announced new rates for the next issues of treasury bills, as follows:

    - Three-month: 8.40 per cent

    - Six-month : 8.70 per cent

    - One-year : 9.50 per cent

    The next issue of one-year bills is tomorrow, by public subscription.

    An auction of fluctuating-rate bills, worth 100 billion, will take place on August 25.

    [19] Clarifications

    In Saturday's "Bulletin" and in a story concerning a report on National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos' visit to the Czech Republic, the correct title for Josef Matejka was misprinted. He is the political counsellor and charge d'affaires ad interim at the embassy of the Czech Republic in Athens.

    In yesterday's "Bulletin" and in the story headlined "Albanian Foreign Minister appeals to Greece after Grammos incident", Greek diplomat Constantine Kolias, who was called to the Albanian foreign ministry to discuss the issue, is secretary at the Greek embassy in Tirana, not the ambassador.

    End of English language section.

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