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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 97-08-22

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 1269), August 22, 1997

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Papantoniou promises cutbacks in '98 state expenditures
  • [02] .... Reactions
  • [03] Seismic activity in Greece until 2010, scientists say
  • [04] .... Warnings for Istanbul
  • [05] Karamanlis expected to soon announce ND reorganization
  • [06] Former Pol.An. spokesman returns to the ND fold
  • [07] ND leader discusses plans for visit with Cypriot envoy
  • [08] Synaspismos leader responds to Ecevit statements
  • [09] Italian press criticize Nebiolo over Palermo's World University Games
  • [10] US congressmen visit Thessaloniki, Athens next week
  • [11] Greek youth volleyball team advances to final at world championships
  • [12] Minister calls for solution to eastern Attica garbage problem
  • [13] Municipalities, communities threaten to strike over delayed funding
  • [14] State Dept. approval for Security Council briefing on Cyprus
  • [15] Ancient Greek technology exhibition
  • [16] Olympic idea to live on in education
  • [17] Cesme art, film festival to bring together Greek, Turkish artists
  • [18] Instances of variola reported in Evros
  • [19] Random oxen herds struck by bovine disease
  • [20] DEP share capital to increase
  • [21] Low prices noted for grapes on European markets
  • [22] Greek meat firm may open new Balkan exports base in Cyprus
  • [23] Greek stocks end flat in slack trade

  • [01] Papantoniou promises cutbacks in '98 state expenditures

    Athens, 22/08/1997 (ANA)

    National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said yesterday that 1998 will be a year of "austerity for the state" and consolidation of the major tax reforms.

    He made the statement after a meeting with Finance Undersecretaries George Drys and Nikos Christodoulakis, which focused on the government's 1998 economic policy.

    Mr. Papantoniou also said the 1998 budget would be crucial, as it would determine the country's participation in the Economic and Monetary Union. He said the government's economic policy for 1998 would focus on state austerity and tax reforms, implying that the state will cut expenditures.

    Replying to criticism that there are deviations in the 1997 budget, Mr. Papantoniou said there were no deviations, adding that state revenues were rising by 12.5 per cent. He said that by the end of the year he expected state revenues to rise by 14.5 per cent.

    "1998 will be a year of recovery," Mr. Papantoniou said, forecasting a 4 per cent GDP rise as against a 3.5 per cent this year.

    Economic issues will also be discussed today during a meeting of the ruling PASOK party's political secretariat, chaired by Prime Minister Costas Simitis. Mr. Papantoniou, Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and Interior Minister Alekos Papadopoulos will participate.

    [02] .... Reactions

    Athens, 22/08/1997 (ANA)

    Opposition parties reacted strongly to Mr. Papantoniou's statements on the 1998 economic policy.

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party claimed that there was still a danger of the 1997 state budget being overturned, since deviation from this year's budget would amount to 700 billion drachmas.

    The party accused the government of being incapable of restraining deficits of the "wasteful party-affiliated state" and noted that immediate and structural changes were needed.

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said the government was preparing the ground for new forays into the popular classes and must be prepared for tough struggles by workers against its policy.

    The Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) claimed that none of the goals in the government's economic policy was met, the deviation from the budget is proven and the "real black hole in the economy proves the governmental policy's newer failure".

    The Democratic Social Movement party (DHKKI) believes the government is preparing a new tough anti-popular and deadlocked economic policy for 1998 and that "Mr. Papantoniou's beautifications don't convince anyone".

    The Political Spring (Pol.An.) party claimed that Mr. Papantoniou has announced an extension of austerity for the 14th year and that the industrial and agricultural production and tourism indicators in the last two years have remained stagnant.

    [03] Seismic activity in Greece until 2010, scientists say

    Athens, 22/08/1997 (ANA)

    Scientists attending an international seismology conference in Thessaloniki said yesterday that Greece had in 1996 entered a period of heightened seismic activity, which was expected to last until the year 2010.

    During this period, they said, and on the basis of observations and statistical data processed by a research team of the Geophysics Laboratory of Thessaloniki University, there was a greater risk of strong earthquakes hitting Greece.

    Speaking at the 29th World Seismology Conference, Thessaloniki University seismology professor Georgios Karakaisis said up to 27 earthquakes of more than six on the Richter scale could hit the region during the 15-year period.

    The 10-day conference, which opened on Monday, is being attended by 1,000 seismology experts from all over the world.

    The Thessaloniki University research team, using a long-term quake prediction method, said it had identified 25 areas posing a high risk from the point of view of seismic activity.

    Prof. Vassilis Papazachos said the government had been urged to increase its anti-seismic protection measures, without this meaning that it was absolutely certain that very powerful earthquakes would occur.

    Prof. Papazachos, a member of the research team, told reporters that the significance of the long-term quake prediction method lay in informing authorities about the regions at greatest risk, so that necessary precautionary measures would be taken.

    He added that the method did not constitute a precise means of predicting earthquakes, since this was not yet scientifically feasible.

    Prof. Papazachos declined to name the high risk regions, saying only that they covered "the broader seismic area of the Greek region". The state, he continued, was aware of what to do so that, in the case of a powerful quake, the destructive results would be minimized.

    [04] .... Warnings for Istanbul

    Athens, 22/08/1997 (ANA)

    A strong earthquake may possibly hit the Istanbul area within the next half-century, a Turkish scientist added on the sidelines of the conference.

    Speaking to the press following his presentation on Turkey's seismological state, Inan Sedan, a researcher at the Scientific and Technical Council of Research in Turkey, said that Turkish seismologists followed a long-range model of prediction by using data from past earthquakes in their country, which is also highly susceptible to earthquakes.

    Mr. Sedan said the Anatolian fault intersected Turkey from east to west and had been responsible for several powerful earthquakes in the past.

    Turkish seismologists believe that this fault may possibly cause a powerful earthquake until 2050, which would have an epicenter 30 to 40 km from Istanbul, he said.

    He explained that seismic activity in Turkey was caused by the tendency of the Russian and Arab tectonic plates to join as they move towards the east, while the Anatolian plates moved to the west.

    Asked whether the greater area was threatened by the construction of nuclear plants in Turkey, Mr. Sedan said seismologists were investigating all proposed construction sites for faults and fissures that might cause earthquakes.

    [05] Karamanlis expected to soon announce ND reorganization

    Athens, 22/08/1997 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis, who hosted a lunch for party deputies yesterday, is reportedly planning to announce his final decisions on party reorganization at the end of the month or early September.

    Sources said plans include the setting up of five to seven sectors of parliamentary action, to be headed by prominent party cadres. The same sources said Mr. Karamanlis intends to ask his past leadership contender George Souflias to compose ND's program me, and have regular rounds of consultation with former leaders and other prominent party members.

    Mr. Karamanlis is visiting Cyprus next week, and the international trade fair of Thessaloniki early next month, where he will set out the main opposition's proposals for the economy.

    [06] Former Pol.An. spokesman returns to the ND fold

    Athens, 22/08/1997 (ANA)

    The former spokesman for the Political Spring (Pol.An.) party, Notis Martakis, met yesterday with the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party spokesman on the prospect of returning to ND, informed sources said yesterday.

    The sources said Mr. Martakis would also meet with ND party leader Costas Karamanlis next week on the same issue.

    Following the end of Constantine Karamanlis' (the current ND leader's uncle) term as president of the republic in March 1995, Mr. Martakis joined Pol.An., where he became party spokesman.

    Pol.An was founded by former ND member and foreign minister Antonis Samaras.

    Mr. Martakis submitted his resignation from Pol.An. following the party's failure to win any seats in Parliament during the last national elections in October 1996.

    [07] ND leader discusses plans for visit with Cypriot envoy

    Athens, 22/08/1997 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis discussed his forthcoming visit to Cyprus yesterday with Cypriot Ambassador in Athens Haralambos Christoforou.

    During his two-day visit to the island republic, which begins on Monday, Mr. Karamanlis is to meet with President Glafkos Clerides, party leaders and Parliament Speaker Spyros Kyprianou.

    [08] Synaspismos leader responds to Ecevit statements

    Athens, 22/08/1997 (ANA)

    Turkey's provocative actions are creating a framework of tension in its relations with Greece, which the government is watching in perplexity and surprise, Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) leader Nikos Constantopoulos said yesterday.

    Responding to statements by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit earlier this week, Mr. Constantopoulos called on the government to reply whether there were any unilateral guarantees on the Madrid communiqui, signed in July between Greece and Turkey, or whether there were just assurances made by the United States that were being belied constantly. He also said the government should reply on whether it plans to react in order to strengthen Greece's position internationally.

    The Synaspismos leader noted that his party insisted on a policy of de-escalation, but that should be based on a policy plan that would guarantee reliable and good neighborliness, inherently safeguarding Greece's sovereign rights.

    [09] Italian press criticize Nebiolo over Palermo's World University Games

    Athens, 22/08/1997 (ANA)

    Italian newspapers are apparently becoming increasingly critical of the organizers of the 19th World University Games in Palermo, and particularly of the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) President Primo Nebiolo as well as Italian Olympic Committee (Coni) President Mario Pescante.

    "Corriere Della Sera" yesterday published a front-page response by intellectual Galli Della Loggia to Mr. Pescante, referring to delays and inadequacies despite colossal expenditures.

    "What does the Coni president have to say to us now after all but complimentary news from Palermo?

    "Will he blame some for the delays, inadequacy and the colossal expenditures in what they call the 'biggest sporting event after the Olympics?," the columnist asks.

    An inside-page report subtitled "Eight athletes in the same room, half-finished installations", says "even Mr. Nebiolo had to admit it: these games are a real nightmare", and quotes Mr. Nebiolo as saying, "surely these university games in Sicily cannot be a product for export in the near future".

    "La Republica" says in an editorial, "unfortunately, six years of preparations and 500 billion lire were not enough for Sicily to avoid this kind of nightmare: Organizational chaos, protests, half-finished installations, a river of wasted money and much more...

    "After all, it was Nebiolo himself who insisted by all means that the games take place in Sicily. He used all his influence towards this end, even bringing Rome's candidacy for (the Olympic Games of) 2004".

    The paper also carries an interview with Mr. Nebiolo, in which the IAAF president accepts the criticism, but insists that "in the end it will be a success".

    [10] US congressmen visit Thessaloniki, Athens next week

    Athens, 22/08/1997 (ANA)

    Six US congressmen expected to visit Greece this coming week will make their first stop in Thessaloniki on Sunday to attend a dinner in their honor.

    Congressmen Michael Bilirakis, Randy Cunningham, Ron Klink, John Laflace, Dan Schaefer and Michael Pappas were invited by the Greek-American Institute in the United States and the Panhellenic Organization of Greek-American Friendship in Greece. The dinner will be hosted by Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos.

    Their visit to the Cultural Capital of Europe will open with a meeting on Monday morning with Macedonia-Thrace Minister Philippos Petsalnikos, to be followed by a tour of the city and the city's archaeological museum.

    Later on Monday they will visit the Byzantine Museum, which is hosting the "Treasures of Mount Athos" exhibition and attend a dinner in their honor by the Thessaloniki Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

    On Tuesday they are expected to visit the Porto Carras resort in Halkidiki prefecture.

    They will visit Athens on Wednesday.

    Their schedule includes meetings with several ministers and political officials.

    [11] Greek youth volleyball team advances to final at world championships

    Teheran, 22/08/1997 (ANA)

    The Greek youth team in volleyball qualified for the final at the world championships in the Iranian capital after beating Poland yesterday in a game that lasted 2.5 hours.

    "Anything may happen in the finals and we want to beat Italy at last. Congratulations to all the players. This national team has done it all," the team's coach, Nikos Neofytos, said. Greece plays against Italy today for first place.

    [12] Minister calls for solution to eastern Attica garbage problem

    Athens, 22/08/1997 (ANA)

    The dispute over proposed sites for landfills in eastern Attica reached a pitch yesterday when Environment, Public Works and Town Planning Minister Costas Laliotis called on municipal authorities in the region to assume their responsibilities.

    "It is simply unacceptable that twenty garbage dumps exist in eastern Attica, polluting the water table and threatening public health," he said, urging local authorities to "set a modern example" in dealing with the thousands of tons of garbage produced by their municipalities every day.

    The minister, referring to the existing landfill in Liossia, western Attica, said that a 32-billion-drachma plan was under way to deal with two-thirds of Attica's refuse, including new landfill sites and recycling systems.

    Former sites in Schisto and Ano Liossia, he said, were being converted into a 2.5 square kilometer park.

    Mr. Laliotis stressed that under no circumstances would garbage be sent out of Attica and said he has asked for an investigation by the public prosecutor into allegations that private contractors were collecting garbage from certain eastern Attica municipalities.

    [13] Municipalities, communities threaten to strike over delayed funding

    Athens, 22/08/1997 (ANA)

    Mayors and community leaders will go on a nationwide strike if the finance ministry does not turn over to local governments the 11 billion drachmas it has promised, Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos said yesterday.

    In a letter by the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE), which is presided by Mr. Avramopoulos, the union states that "although KEDKE has once again shown a spirit of co-operation and responsibility, the finance ministry has done absolutely nothing of all it has promised to do".

    According to KEDKE, the government had promised an immediate funding by six billion drachmas, in order to pay the second installment of a bonus by early August.

    Among other things, it had also promised to fund local government by five billion drachmas, to supplement salaries so they could come up to par with a unified salary scheme that went into effect recently.

    [14] State Dept. approval for Security Council briefing on Cyprus

    Nicosia, 22/08/1997 (ANA - G. Leonidas)

    The US State Department has expressed approval of the UN Security Council briefing on the Cyprus issue by the Secretary General's special adviser Diego Cordovez on Wednesday, and of statements by the Council's British chairman, John Weston, criticizing the Turkish Cypriot side and commending President Glafcos Clerides for his stand during talks in Montreux, Switzerland, last week.

    Spokesman James Rubin said Mr. Cordovez's briefing was accurate and that the State Department was in agreement with the Security Council chairman's statement.

    He also said that progress on humanitarian issues was possible even when this was not the case on issues of substance, and that the US certainly hoped so.

    [15] Ancient Greek technology exhibition

    Athens, 22/08/1997 (ANA)

    For the first time in the world, some of the remarkable achievements of ancient Greek technology are being put on exhibition either in their original form, donated by museums and private collectors, or as replicas.

    The 65 exhibits dating from the 6th century BC, as well as some from the Byzantine period, will be on display until September 22 in Thessaloniki's ancient agora next to the Roman mint.

    Many of the exhibits are exact replicas, carefully recreated by scientists of the Association for the Study of Ancient Greek Technology on the basis of the writings of their inventors, among them the "father of History" Thucydides.

    The exhibits include movable temples, revolving statues, early versions of what was later to become the steam engine, sundials, ancient triremes, weapons systems and construction equipment.

    The exhibition has been funded by the Thessaloniki Cultural Capital organization while its preparation has been assisted by the Association for the Study of Ancient Greek Technology and the Thessaloniki Technology Museum.

    [16] Olympic idea to live on in education

    Athens, 22/08/1997 (ANA)

    Over 30 professors from 20 countries are attending the first world congress on "Introducing the Olympic and athletic education in schools", which opened in Patra yesterday and will end on Sunday.

    Sports Under-secretary Andreas Fouras, who opened the congress, said that the Olympic idea was born in Greece and must continue to in Greece through the school system, through experimental programs in co-operation with towns and communities.

    The congress aims at proposing ways of introducing the ideals of the ancient Olympic Games in schools starting from elementary grade level.

    [17] Cesme art, film festival to bring together Greek, Turkish artists

    Athens, 22/08/1997 (ANA)

    The first-ever Festival of Arts and Films is due to open in Turkey next Saturday with the aim of bringing together artists from Greece and Turkey.

    The festival is organized by the group which is responsible for the administration of the Izmir Cinema Festival, and the Fine Arts Foundation for Education and Culture.

    The festival will take place in Cesme.

    [18] Instances of variola reported in Evros

    Athens, 22/08/1997 (ANA)

    Veterinary services in the Evros border region have identified the variola disease in sheep in five separate locations, with 541 animals subsequently destroyed.

    They have also designated two strict protection zones, at distances of three and 10 kilometers, and forbade the entry and exit of live animals, transportation of animal feeds, meat and dairy products.

    Evros prefect Giorgos Dolios called for the strict enforcement of protection measures, warning that the spreading of the disease could prompt the reimposition of a European Union quarantine.

    The appearance of the disease in the region last year decimated a large part of the border area's animal stock.

    Evros veterinary authorities suspect the disease was again transmitted from across the border in Turkey, where it is reportedly endemic.

    [19] Random oxen herds struck by bovine disease

    Athens, 22/08/1997 (ANA)

    Three herds of oxen have been struck by a bovine disease that has killed 75 animals in the areas of Nea Santa and Aetolofos, near Alexandroupoli, Evros prefecture.

    The symptoms of the disease start with high fever and runny eyes and lead to blindness, anorexia and death.

    The veterinary directorate in the agriculture ministry, which is doing extensive checks in the area, said the incidents were random, and there was no epidemic. They also said the farmers who lost livestock would be compensated.

    [20] DEP share capital to increase

    Athens, 22/08/1997 (ANA)

    The government yesterday approved an increase by 20.9 billion drachmas in the share capital of the state-owned Public Petroleum Corp. (DEP).

    Following this initial approval, a draft presidential decree on the increase was submitted to the Council of State for processing.

    The increase calls for an issuing of 4,197 registered shares with a nominal value of five million drachmas each. They will be issued in 20 packages of 200, 1 of 100 and one of 97 shares.

    The shares will all revert to the state, DEP's only shareholder.

    Under these provisions, DEP's subsidiary for natural gas, DEPA, will also receive 20.9 billion drachmas from the public investment program.

    The increase will raise DEP's share capital to a total of 180.6 billion drachmas, or 36,128 shares of five million drachmas each.

    [21] Low prices noted for grapes on European markets

    Athens, 22/08/1997 (ANA)

    Low prices for the "Victoria" variety of grapes in European markets is causing concern to thousands of producers, exporters and government officials in Kavala.

    Prices in Munich, the largest market abroad for Greek grapes, vary between 70 and 80 drachmas a kilo, a price 15-20 per cent lower than 1996, creating fears that a large part of this year's 30,000-ton crop will remain unsold.

    Producers' worries are compounded by an increase in transportation fees, which have been increased from 500,000 drachmas to 800,000 drachmas per load, resulting in an extra cost of 40 drachmas per kilo at a time when grapes are not subsidized by the EU.

    [22] Greek meat firm may open new Balkan exports base in Cyprus

    Athens, 22/08/1997 (ANA)

    Greece's Yfandis processed meat manufacturer is to decide in the near future whether to build a factory in Cyprus budgeted at 770 million drachmas that could be used as an exports base for the Balkans and Middle East, a company executive said.

    Yfandis, which is listed on the Athens Stock Exchange, has already completed surveys of the Cypriot market, which taken in isolation would be too small to warrant a costly investment, general director Christos Bartsokas told yesterday the Nicosia Phileleftheros daily newspaper.

    But using the new plant as a base for Balkan and Middle Eastern exports would make the investment viable, Mr. Bartsokas said.

    [23] Greek stocks end flat in slack trade

    Athens, 22/08/1997 (ANA)

    Greek equities ended with minor changes after subdued trading on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday.

    Market sources said investors were reluctant to open new positions ahead of the government's initial decisions over drafting next year's budget and further measures to contain 1997's larger-than-expected budget shortfall.

    The general index closed 0.05 percent lower at 1,619.20 points despite a 2.78 percent gain in the construction sector.

    Other sector indices moved in a narrow range. Banks fell 0.27 percent, Leasing rose 0.29 percent, Insurance eased 0.98 percent, Investment fell 0.33 percent, Industrials were 0.05 percent off, Holding rose 0.14 percent and Miscellaneous ended 1.08 percent higher.

    The parallel market index for small cap companies rose 0.64 percent.

    Trading remained thin and turnover was 7.8 billion drachmas.

    Broadly, decliners narrowly led advancers by 103 to 91 with another 32 issues unchanged.

    Piraeus Investment, Athinea, Demetriades and Balkan Export scored the biggest percentage gains, while Lambropoulos, Ippotour and Ideal suffered the heaviest losses of the day.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 37,000 drachmas, Ergobank at 17,840, Alpha Credit Bank at 19,690, Delta Dairy at 4,250, Titan Cement at 14,910, Intracom at 12,975 and Hellenic Telecommunications Organization at 6,510.

    In the domestic foreign exchange market, the US dollar rose by 0.27 percent against the drachma.

    End of English language section.


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