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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 98-01-05

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 1382), January 05, 1998

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Vigilance in the Aegean continuing
  • [02] ... ND comment
  • [03] New tax legislation to be tabled
  • [04] Foreign ministry denies confusion regarding territorial waters
  • [05] Sarande leaflet threatens Greeks of Albania
  • [06] Premier Simitis to send letter to PASOK members
  • [07] Iraqi illegals arrested on Samos
  • [08] Two killed at 'Diana' papermill explosion
  • [09] Major arms cache discovered at American's home
  • [10] Tax on bank profits from sale of shares to remain in place
  • [11] Vintage cars circuit through Athens streets

  • [01] Vigilance in the Aegean continuing

    Athens, 05/01/1998 (ANA)

    The Greek armed forces are carefully monitoring the Turkish air and naval exercise in progress in the Aegean, and are ready to adopt all necessary measures -such as interceptions of aircraft- in case the exercise is carried out in areas where there is no relevant entitlement, Defense Under-secretary Demetris Apostolakis said after a meeting on Saturday.

    The Greek Civil Aviation Authority (YPA) on December 28, 1997, described as illegal a Turkish notam, designating eight areas in the Aegean for the exercise, planned for January 2-25, as illegal and invalid, as three of them included areas of the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR).

    Mr. Apostolakis noted, nevertheless, that activity related to the exercise, could, up to that point, be described as low key.

    At another meeting at the foreign ministry on Saturday, chaired by Foreign Under-secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis, officials of the defense and foreign ministries and YPA examined the unfolding situation and coordinated their activities on the matter.

    Calm also prevailed yesterday, second day of the exercise in the Aegean, while Greek armed forces maintained their readiness to deal with any eventuality. Today is considered a crucial day as the exercise is expected to unfold north of the island of Lesvos, and between Hios and Andros, areas which the Turks have unilaterally engaged for the exercise.

    Meanwhile, on Saturday, a ANA dispatch from Ankara referred to a "Radical" newspaper report, citing Turkish general staff sources, according to which, within January, exercises of air support to naval forces (TAMO) would take place, which "take place of ten and therefore their schedules is not released to the press".

    Citing the same sources, the newspaper said that between the dates quoted by the Greek press, there were no planned extensive exercises of the Turkish armed forces in the Aegean.

    [02] ... ND comment

    Athens, 05/01/1998 (ANA)

    As the Turkish exercise encroaches upon national sovereign rights, the government must take all appropriate actions and notify international bodies, said main opposition New Democracy party spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos in a statement on Saturday.

    "The government must immediately clarify the picture, by providing authoritative information to the public, and by abandoning the curious silence it has maintained in recent days and the inexplicable delays in the exchange of information and data with the respective Turkish services," he said.

    [03] New tax legislation to be tabled

    Athens, 05/01/1998 (ANA)

    National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou will table the government's new tax legislation in Parliament on Wednesday, according to reports.

    The discussion of the bill by the parliamentary committee will begin on January 12 and the bill will be then brought before the Parliament for debate and vote.

    [04] Foreign ministry denies confusion regarding territorial waters

    Athens, 05/01/1998 (ANA)

    The foreign ministry issued an announcement yesterday in which it stressed that "the extent of the territorial waters for purposes of aviation and the control thereof has been fixed at ten (10) nautical miles from the coast of the State by law in 1931".

    The announcement was sparked by some reports in the press which claimed a "blunder" in a Civil Aviation Authority (YPA) document, supposedly referring to Greek territorial waters as being three (3) nautical miles.

    The announcement said that a dispatch containing Greece's reactions over the current Turkish military exercises in the Aegean was compiled by YPA in co-operation with the foreign ministry, and there was no mistake in it.

    As a consequence, the announcement added, any misinterpretation or confusion with any other regulation of 1931, which may have referred to territorial waters as being then three (3) nautical miles, was not valid.

    The foreign ministry concluded by saying that the government dealt with the issue very carefully and responsibly as it was required and in co-operation with all relevant authorities, and that it was not appropriate for such a crucial issue to be the subject of petty partisan expediency.

    [05] Sarande leaflet threatens Greeks of Albania

    Gjirokaster, 05/01/1998 (ANA - P. Barka)

    An anonymous leaflet threatening the Greeks of Albania and the Orthodox church circulated in Sarande on New Year's Day, according to reports.

    The leaflet called on the residents of the city to "resist" the ethnic Greeks of the region and "their agents, the Communists", saying that they wanted to "destroy Albania".

    The leaflet warned that "the time of vengeance was approaching".

    The leaflet was condemned by ten political parties which thanked the Greek people and the Greek government for its assistance and support of economic and political reforms in Albania.

    [06] Premier Simitis to send letter to PASOK members

    Athens, 05/01/1998 (ANA)

    The major issues that will concern the government, as well as the ruling PASOK party, in 1998 will be the focus of a letter by Prime Minister Costas Simitis to be sent to PASOK members within the coming days.

    The premier will refer in his letter to the framework of choices that will make Greece a strong and modern state, such as the upgrading of the country's international position and role, as well as equal participation in procedures for European unification and Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), defend sovereign rights and the Greek initiative for peace and co-operation in the Balkans.

    In the domestic front such choices relate to regional and production restructuring, rapid development, modernization and reform in the state.

    However, Mr. Simitis notes in his letter that this real capture of the future presupposes a revitalized and organized PASOK party that will be open to social and productive forces, and which will decide on crucial policy decisions and will implement that policy in all areas and institutions.

    [07] Iraqi illegals arrested on Samos

    Athens, 05/01/1998 (ANA)

    Ten Iraqi illegal immigrants were arrested on Saturday on the island of Samos in the eastern Aegean, less than 48 hours after the New Year' s arrest of another 24.

    According to statements by the Kurdish-origin Iraqi citizens two Turkish smugglers ferried them to the island from mainland Turkey on a small wooden boat from Kusadasi.

    The Iraqi also said that hundreds more were waiting to come to Samos a fact that drove up the smugglers' fee to $2,000 per person.

    A 43-year-old man was also arrested at the Evros border post on Saturday after police found seven illegal immigrants hidden in the tourist coach he was driving.

    Police said Timothei Balatof had charged each of the seven - four women and two men from Armenia and a man from Syria - 2,850 dollars for their transport to Greece.

    Balatof had constructed special compartments in the coach to transport the seven illegal immigrants.

    In another development the body of a 31-year-old illegal immigrant missing since Thursday was dragged from the waters of the Evros River on Saturday.

    Police said the woman, identified as Iraqi national Nean Kahaz, was one of the three people reported missing when a boat in which they were being transported illegally from the Turkish side of the river to Greece overturned.

    Kahaz was one of a group of 28 put ashore on an islet in the middle of the river.

    [08] Two killed at 'Diana' papermill explosion

    Athens, 05/01/1998 (ANA)

    Two people were killed and four wounded by an explosion at the "Diana" papermill at the Xanthi prefecture Maggana village early Saturday morning.

    Equipment operator Stephanos Draskidis, 28 was killed instantaneously, while electrician Theophanis Kamiloglou died en route to the Xanthi hospital.

    The explosion sent pieces of the factory's boiler a great distance and caused a fire, which took several hours to be extinguished.

    According to the fire department's early estimates the damage to the factory is in the 10s of millions of drachmas. In an announcement in relation to the accident, the Thrace-based DIANA papermill said that two hours after the explosion, the fire that followed had been put out owing to the plant's fire protection system.

    It further said that the old plant will be in operation in a week's time, while the new plant will be ready to operate normally in one month.

    It added that both plants are insured and that available stocks can cover the market's needs for two months.

    [09] Major arms cache discovered at American's home

    Athens, 05/01/1998 (ANA)

    A major arms cache has been discovered by police in Dion, Pieria, in the home of a 41-year-old American, the widow of criminal George Kaltsas who was found dead with 20 gunshot wounds near Lamia last week in what appeared to be a gangland killing, police said yesterday.

    The Katerini security police located and seized quantities of anti-tank rockets and launchers, machine guns, Kalashnikov rifles, hand grenades, pistols and silencers, ammunition, masks and bullet-proof vests in a pig-sty behind the home of 41-year-old American Donna Wilkins-Kaltsas.

    A police spokesman told the ANA the weaponry had been smuggled into Greece from Albania, and was mainly Russian and Chinese made. He also said 153 sticks of TNT (dynamite), "enough to blow up Mt. Olympus", had also been confiscated, as well as 12 kilos of hashish and a small quantity of heroin. Earlier, police arrested two Albanians, 20-year-old Skrendi Peirikliou and 27-year-old Ilir Rogi from Elbasan, who lived on Wilkins' grounds.

    Police also found two Uzi's when they raided the house, believed to have been stolen from the Greek police.

    Police believe the weapons were smuggled into Greece in the fall after George Kaltsas' brother, Vassilis Kaltsas, escaped from Corfu jail and fled to Albania, with the help of the Albanian mafia and Greek accomplices. Vassilis Kaltsas died in a car crash in Halkidiki, northern Greece, last month.

    [10] Tax on bank profits from sale of shares to remain in place

    Athens, 05/01/1998 (ANA)

    A special tax levied on bank transactions for the sale of shares will continue to apply, the Council of State ruled after examination of an appeal by a bank for abolition of the tax on shares.

    The bank claimed that the special tax on bank profits from the sale of shares should be abolished since it could not be charged on share buyers. The Council of State, however, judged that the special tax could and should be charged on share buyers and ruled that the regulation remain in place.

    [11] Vintage cars circuit through Athens streets

    Athens 05/01/1998 (ANA)

    A circuit of vintage cars was organized yesterday in Athens by the Athens Municipality and the Vintage Car Society (FILPA).

    The rally, in which 180 antique cars took part, started from the Athens Panathenian Stadium and went through a scheduled route in downtown Athens and ended again at the stadium. Athens mayor Demetris Avramopoulos said in a statement to the press that it was his aspiration that the city of Athens be turned into a more humane city, bearing elements reminded by the cars of the 50s and 60s. NOTE: The Bulletin will not appear tomorrow, January 6, due to the Epiphany holiday.

    End of English language section.


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