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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 97-08-30

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. 1276), August 30, 1997

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


  • [01] Poos: Treaty of Amsterdam to be signed Oct. 2
  • [02] Clarification
  • [03] Athens Summit '97 opens at Pnyx Hill
  • [04] Arafat arrival
  • [05] Ankara cannot make compromises on Cyprus, Turkish minister says
  • [06] Clinton officially names Nicholas Burns for Athens post
  • [07] Simitis urges ministers to work together
  • [08] ND leader urges more US concern for region
  • [09] Athens' Balkan policy eyes leading role in developments, gov't says
  • [10] Tsohatzopoulos
  • [11] Stephanopoulos continues Peloponnese tour with visit to Laconia
  • [12] Comments on Balkans
  • [13] Chinese Tibetan Song and Dance
  • [14] International architecture summer school in Drama
  • [15] Injured turtle saved by swimmers
  • [16] Noted female rebetika singer buried yesterday
  • [17] Russian tourist found dead on Mount Athos
  • [18] No gov't comment on Reuter Olympics poll
  • [19] Tory's support for Athens 2004
  • [20] Whales lose bearings, end up off Volos
  • [21] National Bank of Greece to tap market for 100 bln Dr.
  • [22] Athens bourse ends week sharply lower
  • [23] The week in the market
  • [24] DEH projects in Macedonia, Thrace on line
  • [25] Mortgage Bank renews T-bills for another year
  • [26] Special edition messages for Thessaloniki Int'l Trade Fair

  • [01] Poos: Treaty of Amsterdam to be signed Oct. 2

    Athens, 30/08/1997 (ANA)

    Current EU Council president Jacques Poos, the Luxembourg foreign minister, said yesterday that the Treaty of Amsterdam will be signed on Oct. 2, and will be followed by ratification from the 15 national member-states' parliaments.

    Mr. Poos made the statement after a meeting in Athens with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, which was also attended by Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Foreign Under-secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis. The meeting dealt with a broad range of EU issues as well as Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus problem.

    Mr. Poos placed particular emphasis on the preparation of a special EU summit on employment on Nov. 27, stressing that it will adopt especially important decisions leading to "specific actions which will allow the reversal of current market tendencies".

    Regarding the EU enlargement process, which involves 11 prospective members, Mr. Poos said that despite the significant work done to date, it is not certain that the issue will close until the end of the year.

    Questioned whether the solution of the Cyprus problem was a precondition for a start to negotiations for EU membership of the island republic, the EU Council president replied that not only the presidency but the EU as a whole had decided that negotiation s would start early next year.

    "The relevant decision has been confirmed at European Council summits and EU ministerial councils, and the relevant assurances have already been given to the Cypriot government," he said.

    He added that the Cyprus problem and Greek-Turkish relations would be discussed at greater length during a working dinner with the leadership of the Greek foreign ministry, which was scheduled for yesterday evening, and that the Luxembourg EU presidency appreciated considerably Athens' decisions for an improvement of relations with Ankara.

    Mr. Poos will travel to Turkey on Monday, where he is scheduled to meet in Ankara with Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem.

    Concerning Economic and Monetary Union, he noted there are encouraging signs, such as the current recovery, giving rise to hopes for the participation of many countries.

    Mr. Simitis stressed the particular importance for Greece of the debate in the EU on the issue of employment, reminding that discussions to date have placed emphasis on stabilization and the monetary aspects of economic policy. He also said Greece expects the adoption of specific measures for fighting unemployment at the summit, and called for the allocation of funds and the mobilization of organizations such as the European Investment Bank towards that end. Regarding enlargement, Mr. Simitis reiterate d that Greece supports the simultaneous start to negotiations with all prospective members, so as to avoid groundless objections, delays and enmities in the event of different treatment of the various countries. However, he agreed with Mr. Poos that the enlargement process would take time and would not be completed until after 2000.

    [02] Clarification

    Athens, 30/08/1997 (ANA)

    In the Friday, Aug. 29 edition of the "Bulletin" and in a front-page article entitled "Rome's affirmation on Cyprus closes Dini affair, Pangalos says," Mr. Pangalos was incorrectly reportedly as stating that EU-Cyprus accession negotiations should begin " prior to October 1998."

    He actually said that such negotiations should begin before April 2, 1998.

    [03] Athens Summit '97 opens at Pnyx Hill

    Athens, 30/08/1997 (ANA)

    Athens Summit '97, an international congress on "Democracy and Development: Europe's Contribution to the Globalization of the Economy" officially opened at the historic Pnyx Hill across from the Acropolis late yesterday.

    The congress is organized by the National Technical University of Athens, under the patronage of the European Parliament and European Commission President Jacques Santer. It is also held in association with the London newspaper "The European".

    The schedule includes addresses by foreign ministers, bankers, academics and clerics, among others, who will deliver speeches today and tomorrow at the Vouliagmeni seaside resort, south of Athens.

    At the opening ceremony, messages were read out from Mr. Santer and Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, both of whom were unable to attend.

    Messages were delivered in person by European Commissioner Christos Papoutsis, main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis, and the university's rector Nikos Markatos, on behalf of Greek organizers.

    Mr. Santer's message noted the importance of Europe's reform and adaptation that would help it face future challenges. He added in his message that it was necessary to develop a modern democratic order where variations in history and institutions would be taken into account and people would be able to participate actively in its construction.

    Mr. Papoutsis warned about the dangers of market globalization and the possibility of social unbalance, especially the problem of unemployment.

    He mentioned three challenges modern European society is facing: preserving the European social model, expanding the European Union and the Union's intervention in the international scene unfolding now.

    The opening last night was attended by several high-ranking Greek Orthodox Church clerics, ambassadors, mayors, and representatives of political parties, armed forces, cultural institutes and economic organizations.

    [04] Arafat arrival

    Athens, 30/08/1997 (ANA)

    President of the Palestinian Authority Yasser Arafat is also expected in Athens for the event.

    Mr. Arafat was originally scheduled to speak at last night's inaugural ceremony on Pnyx Hill, but the program was later modified, most probably for security reasons.

    Foreign ministry sources confirmed yesterday that Mr. Arafat would take part, but were not able to furnish any more details on the time of his arrival.

    The same sources said the Palestinian leader will have contacts on the sidelines of the event, probably including a meeting with Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos.

    [05] Ankara cannot make compromises on Cyprus, Turkish minister says

    Istanbul, 30/08/1997 (ANA/A. Kourkoulas)

    Turkish governments of the past five years have given Europe the wrong impression that Turkey can make compromises on the Cyprus issue, according to Sukru Gurel, the Turkish minister responsible for relations with the European Union.

    In an interview published yesterday in the Istanbul daily "Cumhurriet", Mr. Gurel, who is also acting as government spokesman, was quoted as saying:

    "Due to the wrong policy applied by previous governments, Europe was given the impression that Turkey can make compromises on the Cyprus issue to develop its relations with the European Union.

    "Against the wrong impression given on March 6, 1995 there is nothing right now to bind the present government, "he added.

    Mr. Gurel said the Turkish Cypriots should definitely be supported financially, in order to be able to compete against the Greek Cypriots in the economic sector.

    He added, "Those who governed Turkey in the past five or six years did not realize (there was) an international plan for the economic and social emasculation" of the so-called "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus", referring to the Turkish-occupied northern part of the island which is recognized only by Ankara.

    The Turkish minister claimed this "conspiracy" was meant to lead the Turkish Cypriot community to accept any solution proposed for the Cyprus issue.

    The minister added, however, that the present government had encouraged Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to continue UN-led direct talks.

    Mr. Denktash, he said, "had some reservations before the talks in New York and Montreux, but we as a new government stressed that this time-plan should be supported.

    "Mr. Denktash thought finally that he should go there to explain how the Turkish Cypriot people saw the issue and what parameters there were for a solution to be found," Mr. Gurel explained.

    [06] Clinton officially names Nicholas Burns for Athens post

    Edgartown, Mass., 30/08/1997 (ANA/Reuter)

    US President Bill Clinton as expected has appointed former State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns as ambassador to Greece.

    Mark Robert Parris was named Washington's new ambassador to Ankara.

    Mr. Burns is a veteran diplomat who served on the White House's National Security Council as a Russian affairs expert until he moved to the US State Department as spokesman.

    Mr. Parris served as the National Security Council's expert on South Asia until April this year.

    All nominations require US Senate confirmation.

    [07] Simitis urges ministers to work together

    Athens, 30/08/1997 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis called on Cabinet members to display better coordination, co-operation and solidarity in carrying out their duties, as he summed up the government's first year in office while also discussing prospects for the coming three years.

    According to informed sources, at yesterday's Cabinet meeting Mr. Simitis told ministers that the government's greatest foe was inaction, as he said the main opposition New Democracy party did not present a sound alternative.

    Mr. Simitis made special reference on the need to keep campaign promises, according to the same sources. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas later said the prime minister had stressed that the government's economic program was on schedule, and that 1998 would be a crucial year for Greece with regard to meeting targets of the Economic and Monetary Union.

    At the same time, he said, efforts would be intensified to improve economic indicators and achieve a higher rate of growth.

    According to informed sources, the agenda of yesterday's Cabinet meeting also included public administration, agriculture, health, education and transport.

    The spokesman said the government would be putting emphasis on solving citizens' daily problems. For example, there are plans to renew the urban bus fleet, with the old buses being sent to neighbouring countries, particularly Albania.

    In response to a press question, Mr. Reppas said that Greek-Turkish relations were not discussed at the meeting.

    He noted, however, that Turkey has chosen to create tension in bilateral relations, adding that Greece should not be drawn into "tricks" of Turkish officials.

    The spokesman said that recent Turkish moves showed that Ankara was not in a position to fulfill its obligations emanating from the Madrid communique.

    The Madrid communique, calling for normalization of Greek-Turkish relations, was signed between Prime Minister Simitis and Turkish President Suleyman Demirel on the sidelines of a NATO summit earlier this summer.

    [08] ND leader urges more US concern for region

    Athens, 30/08/1997 (ANA)

    Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis criticized Ankara yesterday for increasing uncertainty in the region and said the United States should show more concern for and sensitivity to Balkan issues.

    "It is important that the United States consider with concern, and even sensitivity, issues which may initially appear unimportant yet are cause for concern in the region," Mr. Karamanlis said, adding that the European Union should also assume its responsibilities.

    Mr. Karamanlis's made his remarks at the launch of a book on "Security in southeastern Europe and Greek-American relations," edited by Thomas Varvitsiotis, son of ND's vice president, Ioannis Varvitsiotis.

    He said that to ensure security and stability in the region, the countries of southeastern Europe should first ensure equality their relations.

    Making this remark, Mr. Karamanlis criticized Turkey for having a destabilizing effect on the region.

    He advocated a more active role for Greece in the defense of the country's territorial rights, saying that Greece "should plan and implement a policy aimed at defending our vital rights more convincingly and with greater decisiveness."

    The book contains the views of senior politicians and diplomats from Greece and the United States regarding the present situation in southeastern Europe and prospects for Greek-American relations, stability in the Aegean, security in the Balkans, the future of Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus problem.

    The views contained in the book were presented at a conference held last year in the United States, organized by the Constantine Karamanlis Foundation, the Lilian Voudouri Foundation, and the Foreign Policy Analysis Foundation of Fletcher University.

    The book contains the views of President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou, ND leader Costas Karamanlis and other officials and diplomats from the US and Greece.

    [09] Athens' Balkan policy eyes leading role in developments, gov't says

    Athens, 30/08/1997 (ANA)

    The basic axis along which yesterday's Cabinet discussion on Athens' Balkan policy revolved noted that the policy's basic goal should be to play a leading role in regional developments.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said later that during the Cabinet discussion it was found that there is economic and political instability in the broader area of the Balkans, saying this is where Greece can play a leading role in the achievement o f stability, security, but also economic and social reconstruction of the neighbouring countries.

    Mr. Reppas said Greece's relations with its Balkan neighbours are at a very good level, and stressed that Greece is the only country which can undertake initiatives for the strengthening of relations between these countries and the European Union.

    The spokesman also referred to Balkan co-operation, which, beginning with the Balkan conference on Crete that is scheduled for November, acquires a permanent character, with committees to monitor implementation of the findings.

    Mr. Reppas said it was very likely that FYROM President Kiro Gligorov would be among the leaders who will attend the conference. He also reported that Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos attributed Mr. Gligorov's recent hardened stance towards Athens to internal difficulties in Skopje and to poor relations between FYROM and its neighbours.

    Greece's policy towards FYROM, Mr. Reppas added, remains one of "open doors".

    [10] Tsohatzopoulos

    Athens, 30/08/1997 (ANA)

    Speaking at the opening of the Athens Summit '97 late yesterday evening, National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos underlined that the Balkans and the east Mediterranean are especially troubled.

    He added that NATO, its "Partnership for Peace" initiative and the West European Union (WEU) are guarantees for security, peace and stability, saying that when not found, "democracy is in danger."

    [11] Stephanopoulos continues Peloponnese tour with visit to Laconia

    Athens, 30/08/1997 (ANA)

    President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos made an appeal for unity and for logic to prevail in Greek-Turkish relations, while speaking yesterday on a tour of Laconia, the second stop in his three-day tour of the southern Peloponnese.

    "If logic prevails, as we all hope, if foreign states act according to a sense of justice and if it becomes understood that relations between peoples can only be governed by international principles and treaties, then our region will become one of stability and security, which is what we all desire," the president said.

    He also referred to a "change in mentality" within all political parties and among politicians themselves, which he said was to the country's benefit.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos visited Itylo, Areopoli and Gythio in the Mani district of Laconia yesterday morning, the first leg of his tour of Laconia.

    [12] Comments on Balkans

    Athens, 30/08/1997 (ANA)

    In further comments, Mr. Stephanopoulos said Greece stands out among other countries in the Balkan peninsula, including Turkey. He made the comments after he was made an honorary member of Skala, Laconia.

    Speaking about the Balkans, Mr. Stephanopoulos made extensive references to Albania, which he feared would not be able to set up a proper democracy very soon.

    Concerning the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), he said Skopje was predominately inhabited by people of Bulgarian origin and speaking Bulgarian. As far as Turkey is concerned he said the neighbouring nation was under military control, whose wrong choices would be displayed by its instability.

    [13] Chinese Tibetan Song and Dance

    Athens, 30/08/1997 (ANA)

    The 30-strong Chinese Tibetan Song and Dance Ensemble kicks off its first-ever Greek tour with a concert tonight in Piraeus.

    The ensemble is famous for its performances of Tibetan songs, dances, operas and comic dialogues. Tseden Dolma, a very popular Tibetan singer in China, will also perform.

    The performance will include traditional dances as well as some modern pieces.

    The ensemble has toured more than 20 countries and regions in Europe, North America and Asia and has taken part in many foreign art festivals, contributing to the development and popularization of Tibetan culture and art worldwide.

    The ensemble's program is as follows: August 30 - Veakio Theatre, Piraeus August 31 - Aghios Andreas Municipal Theatre September 1 - Tavros Municipal Theatre September 2 - Koropia Municipal Theatre September 3 - American College, Ayia Paraskevi. For more information call 672-3819.

    [14] International architecture summer school in Drama

    Athens, 30/08/1997 (ANA)

    The Brussels-based association of schools of architecture is holding a summer school in the eastern Macedonian town of Drama, with the participation of professors and students from universities all over the world.

    According to an announcement by Drama prefect Socrates Dimitriadis, the program consists of a seminar for new teaching staff at European architectural schools and a workshop for students, who are to develop proposals for specific projects. This year the tasks deal with the use of marble and wood on buildings in Drama.

    The "summer university" program began today in the municipal library and is to run until September 9.

    [15] Injured turtle saved by swimmers

    Athens, 30/08/1997 (ANA)

    A Caretta Caretta sea turtle injured by an anchor was pulled out of the sea at Kato Gatzea yesterday by swimmers.

    The turtle was transported by the Volos coast-guard to the Society for the Aid and Protection of Wild Animals and Birds on the island of Aegina.

    [16] Noted female rebetika singer buried yesterday

    Athens, 30/08/1997 (ANA)

    Rebetika singer Sotiria Bellou was laid to rest yesterday at the Athens First Cemetery, following a state funeral.

    Earlier in the day her casket lay in state at the small auxiliary chapel next to the Athens Metropolitan Cathedral for mourners wishing to pay their last respects.

    Several popular Greek singers who had worked with her or known her stood by before the service began early in the afternoon.

    [17] Russian tourist found dead on Mount Athos

    Athens, 30/08/1997 (ANA)

    A Russian tourist was found dead in the autonomous monastic community of Mt. Athos early yesterday and police say the man was probably murdered. The body of Vladimir Kirikine, 37, was found shortly after midnight outside his lodgings, near the monastery of Vatopedio on the peninsula. Kirikine was visiting the area with a group of his compatriots, who are being questioned by police.

    The police said the body had received wounds to the stomach but that the body would be moved to Thessaloniki for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

    --- Two masked and armed robbers got away with five million drachmas when they robbed the Kriekouki branch of the National Bank in Attica yesterday.

    [18] No gov't comment on Reuter Olympics poll

    Athens, 30/08/1997 (ANA)

    Athens refused to comment on a Reuter poll indicating that Rome, which plans luxurious accommodation for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) members in the city's fashionable Via Veneto boulevard, was ahead with regard to its facilities and local sup port.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas yesterday refused to comment on the exclusive Reuter survey published on Thursday but said that Athens met all the criteria for hosting the Olympic Games.

    "Athens is so ready as to demand to host the Olympic Games," Mr. Reppas said. "Athens should be the first choice of IOC members."

    According to Reuter, 16 of the 21 contributors, which included international sports federations, sponsors and journalists who follow the IOC, believed Rome would be the IOC's first choice when it meets in Lausanne on Sept. 5. Four said they thought the IOC would pick Athens and one thought Stockholm would prevail.

    [19] Tory's support for Athens 2004

    London, 30/08/1997 (ANA/L. Tsirigotakis)

    Renowned author and influential Tory member Lord Geoffrey Archer, a future candidate for mayor of London, said in an interview with the Greek state-run television that he was disappointed when Athens failed to win the bid to host the 1996 Olympics, adding he hopes that the city hosts the 2004 Games.

    "Personally I was disappointed when the IOC gave the Olympic Games of 1996 to Atlanta instead of Athens," he said.

    Lord Archer was a distinguished track star in the 1960s while a college student at Oxford.

    The British politician had recently visited Athens for the World Amateur Athletics Championships (IAAF) in August, and spoke favourably of the organization of the event.

    [20] Whales lose bearings, end up off Volos

    Athens, 30/08/1997 (ANA)

    Port officials and fishing boats have been trying to lead a 15-metre whale and her calf away from the central port of Volos and towards the open sea.

    The whales appeared at Plakes, near Voritsa, Volos, on Wednesday afternoon, and reappeared at other parts of the Pagasitikos Gulf.

    Port officials said the whales had apparently lost their bearings and entered the gulf by following a cruise-ship.

    [21] National Bank of Greece to tap market for 100 bln Dr.

    Athens, 30/08/1997 (ANA)

    The National Bank of Greece is preparing to take a "quantum leap" towards modernization and international expansion with a 100-billion-drachma share capital increase due by the end of the year.

    A final decision will be taken by the bank's general shareholders' meeting on September 16, it was announced yesterday.

    According to bank sources, the share capital increase project will also benefit the interests of the Greek state which holds a 5.1 percent stake in the bank.

    The National is the largest Greek bank, leading the most powerful group of financial services in the country, with 26 companies operating under its umbrella.

    The bank's total assets were 8.357 billion drachmas at the end of 1996, taking 149th place worldwide according to Banker's July edition. The National Bank Group's total assets stood at 11.304 billion drachmas. It held 47.3 percent of total deposits and repos among Greek commercial banks, 34.1 percent of loans and 30 percent of the volume in bond and foreign exchange trading.

    The bank operates 499 branches in Greece and 81 units in 15 countries abroad.

    The National Bank of Greece has begun implementing a major restructuring project adopting measures aimed at producing a healthier balance sheet. The bank wrote off non-performing loans of up to 55 billion drachmas in 1996 and ended its participation in loss-making enterprises to a total of 63.6 billion drachmas. The bank has already earmarked 61 billion drachmas from last year's operating profits to write off non-performing loans in 1997.

    The bank has cut back on more than 300 jobs since 1996 while its operating costs rose by 12.4 percent last year, down from a 17.1 percent rate of increase in 1995.

    The National Bank hopes a successful share capital increase will help the bank implement its ambitious expansion program in the United States and in northeastern Europe.

    [22] Athens bourse ends week sharply lower

    Athens, 30/08/1997 (ANA)

    Greek equities ended the week sharply lower on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday.

    A sharp drop in National Bank of Greece's (NBG) share created a negative environment in the market and pressed share prices lower.

    NBG came under profit taking selling despite announcing a spectacular 109.4 percent rise in pre-tax profits in the first eight seven months of the year.

    Market sources said the bank's share needed correction in anticipation of its scheduled 100 billion drachmas share capital increase before the end of the year. The general index closed 1.73 percent lower at 1,517.62 to show a 4.72 percent loss on t he week. Sector indices also eased. Banks fell 2.35 percent, Leasing was 3.32 percent off, Insurance dropped 1.35 percent, Investment fell 0.24 percent, Industrials were 1.48 percent off, Construction dropped 2.74 percent, Holding was 2.38 percent down an d Miscellaneous eased 2.24 percent.

    The parallel market index for small cap companies fell 0.50 percent.

    Trading was moderate and turnover was 14.7 billion drachmas.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 160 to 42 with another 22 issues unchanged.

    Athinea, Lanacam, Mochlos and Hellenic Mills scored the biggest percentage gains, while Bank of Athens, Mediterranean Investments, Klaoudatos and Alysida suffered the heaviest losses of the day.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 33,115 drachmas, losing 1,385, Ergobank at 16,550, Alpha Credit Bank at 18,520, Delta Dairy at 3,900, Titan Cement at 14,495, Intracom at 11,760 and OTE at 6.315.

    In the domestic foreign exchange market the US dollar lost substantial ground against the drachma.

    [23] The week in the market

    Athens, 30/08/1997 (ANA)

    The Athens Stock Exchange operated in a very negative climate during the week under review with share prices oftenly coming under heavy selling pressure.

    The general index lost 4.72 percent of its value reflecting market concerns over the course of inflation, a larger-than-expected budget shortfall and pessimism over Athens' bid to host the 2004 Olympic Games.

    Trading conditions improved however, with turnover totaling 65.915 billion drachmas for an daily average turnover of 13.18 billion up from 9 billion the previous week.

    The bank sector suffered the heaviest blow losing 6.52 percent, with National Bank of Greece at the centre-stage ending 10.4 percent lower since last Friday.

    August, in general, proved a bear month for the Athens bourse. Prices lost 5.05 percent in the month, while turnover totaled 217.566 billion drachmas, down from 286.749 billion in July. Out of the 20 trading sessions of the month, 11 were negative and 9 positive. The market tried to move upwards during the first two weeks of August but drastically changed direction the following fortnight.

    [24] DEH projects in Macedonia, Thrace on line

    Athens, 30/08/1997 (ANA)

    The Public Power Corp. (DEH) will create a new national energy centre in northeastern Greece with two projects that will take advantage of natural resources in the area, DEH president G. Birdimiris said yesterday.

    Mr. Birdimiris said the first major project to be set into operation in the area would be the Thisavros hydroelectric dam, taking advantage of the Nestos River waters. Two of its units are already in operation, including the dam.

    The second project is a power station under construction in Komotini fueled by natural gas.

    The long-term aim of the state-run utility, he said, was to link up all energy producing units into a type of "energy highway" that would also help the area's development.

    Benefits include an abundance of water, which collects in the natural reservoir of Nestos, and would provide water during the dry summer months and prevent flooding during the wet months and improved distribution of power in eastern Macedonia and Thrace.

    [25] Mortgage Bank renews T-bills for another year

    Athens, 30/08/1997 (ANA)

    National Mortgage Bank of Greece is renewing treasury bills of less than five years old that end on August 31, 1997 for another year, at an interest rate of 10.30 per cent.

    The bank's new T-bills, dated August 1997, will be issued with the same interest rate and be taxed with a 15 per cent rate.

    [26] Special edition messages for Thessaloniki Int'l Trade Fair

    Athens, 30/08/1997 (ANA)

    Messages included in a special edition published on the occasion of the upcoming Thessaloniki International Trade Fair stress the double significance of the event this year in projecting the country's productive potential as well as being dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, which founded the European Economic Community.

    The 62nd Thessaloniki trade fair commences next week.

    Macedonia-Thrace Minister Philippos Petsalnikos writes, "the economic activity of our country and the projection of many businesses from various countries every year find their best expression in the fair, which is an established institution of international appeal and radiance".

    The minister places particular emphasis on the Thessaloniki's geographical position, stressing the city's role as a springboard for the country's development effort and its integration in the new world economic reality.

    Greek EU Commissioner Christos Papoutsis welcomes the initiative to dedicate this year's event to the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome.

    "For Greek enterprises, today's challenge is to fully utilize the single European market, but also the potential of new markets, particularly in central and eastern Europe and the Mediterranean."

    Thessaloniki Mayor Dinos Kosmopoulos says the fair "gives Thessaloniki the possibility to send messages of international appeal, regarding the prospects and the dynamics characteristic of its central presence in the Balkans, the eastern Mediterranean basin and the Black Sea region."

    End of English language section.

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