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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 98-01-09

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 1385), January 9, 1998

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


  • [01] Greece: Turkish disputes of Aegean sovereignty 'inadmissible
  • [02] ... Massive violations
  • [03] ... US request for Turkey to curtail exercises
  • [04] ... Opposition
  • [05] Blair on Cyprus' accession course
  • [06] Simitis confers with ambassador on Greek-Russian relations
  • [07] Turkey balks at proposed measures to combat illegal immigration
  • [08] 13 illegal immigrants arrested
  • [09] Political solution needed for Kurdish migrants problem
  • [10] ... KKE
  • [11] Papadopoulos visit to China
  • [12] V. Papandreou to officially visit Austria
  • [13] Clerides says Paphos air base ready
  • [14] Simitis-Skandalidis meeting
  • [15] Teachers' groups warn of mobilizations over educational reform
  • [16] 'Women's rule for a day' celebrated in E. Macedonia, Thrace
  • [17] SAE promotional campaign in US for 2004 Olympics
  • [18] Pangalos: Athens should propose EU accession talks for early April
  • [19] New metro route around Kerameikos
  • [20] Papantoniou reaffirms Gov't commitment to 'hard drachma'
  • [21] ... National Bank's Karatzas
  • [22] Greek stocks in the doldrums over money turmoil, rising rates
  • [23] Drachma movements in 1997
  • [24] New reforms ahead for ports
  • [25] Workers strike over privatization of Greece's Mac/Thrace Bank
  • [26] Athenians to pay less for household gas
  • [27] Bourse negotiations with Dane extended
  • [28] Work on new Greek-Bulgarian border crossing

  • [01] Greece: Turkish disputes of Aegean sovereignty 'inadmissible

    Athens, 09/01/1998 (ANA)

    Turkey's questioning of Greece's sovereign rights is "inadmissible and unacceptable", government spo-kesman Demetris Reppas reiterated yesterday, amid growing reactions in Athens to repeated Turkish violations of Greek airspace.

    The government spokesman was referring to recent statements by Turkish officials on the development plans for several Aegean islets by the Aegean ministry.

    Measures announced on Wednesday by Aegean Minister Elisabeth Papazoi included steps to confront natural disasters and research into environmental dangers, using resources from the European Union's 2000-2006 structural funds.

    "These are European programs aimed at the environmental protection and development, on which agreement had been reached between the Aegean and foreign affairs ministries," he added.

    In response to the multiple violations of Greek airspace and infringements of the Athens FIR by Turkish warplanes over the past few days, Mr. Reppas said "these flights were not within the framework of (scheduled Turkish) military exercises.

    "Infringements (of Athens FIR) and violations (of Greek air space) took place from Thrace to Rhodes," he said, adding: "In this way, Turkey is neither furthering its own goals against Greece, nor is it helping its own cause within Europe. At the same time it is showing it does not want to normalize its relations with Greece," Mr. Reppas said.

    Finally, he attributed the latest incidents to an attempt by Ankara to deflect attention from its domestic problems instead of trying to solve them.

    Athens immediately lodged a demarche to Ankara for yesterday's violations of Greek national airspace and infringement of the Athens FIR.

    Foreign Under-secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis said that Greece will also report the Turkish provocations to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Western European Union (WEU), the European Union and NATO.

    [02] ... Massive violations

    Athens, 09/01/1998 (ANA)

    According to defense ministry reports, Turkish warplanes infringed on Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) regulations more than 30 times by noon yesterday.

    A total of 28 Turkish F-16s and 12 F-4 warplanes entered the Athens FIR without previously submitting flight plans. The violations of Greek airspace took place between the islands of Samothrace and Rhodes.

    Thirty-eight Hellenic Air Force Mirage 2000, F-16, F-4 and F-1 fighters intercepted the Turkish violators. On several occasions the process of recognition and interception developed into an engagement.

    Turkish fighter planes had repeatedly violated Greek airspace in the same region on Jan. 6, the Epiphany religious holiday.

    In a related development, when asked on the likelihood of a meeting of the bilateral experts' committee set up to examine Greek-Turkish differences, Mr. Reppas said the experts had not met due to a refusal by Turkey.

    "This issue will be discussed by the (European Union) Ministers' Council, since it should develop as a European initiative," he said.

    [03] ... US request for Turkey to curtail exercises

    Washington, 09/01/1998 (ANA - T. Ellis)

    The US administration had asked Turkey to cancel part of its aeronautical exercises in the Aegean earlier this week, including planned overflights of the Greek islets of Kalogiroi, a request that was heeded, Assistant Secretary of State Mark Grossman said yesterday.

    In a televised interview with the private Greek station 'Antenna', Washington's former envoy to Ankara also stressed that the US position was that the best way to solve the Imia islets dispute, which spark off a serious Greek-Turkish stand-off in late January 1996, was referral to the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

    Referring to recent decisions regarding Turkey, reached by European leaders at last month's Luxembourg summit, including the three conditions set for improvement of EU-Turkish relations, Mr. Grossman revealed that Washington had advised Turkey to look at the positive aspects of the decisions, as well as to work on a long-term prospect basis, which requires dealing with the problems of relations with Greece, Cyprus and the human rights situation in Turkey.

    Mr. Grossman said that the US administration will work very closely with any Greek government.

    [04] ... Opposition

    Athens, 09/01/1998 (ANA)

    On its part, main opposition New Democracy spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos said "Turkish audacity and provocativeness" have gone beyond all bounds and that "it is clear that interceptions, successfully conducted by Greek warplanes, are not enough."

    Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) leader Nikos Constantopoulos said that Turkish provocativeness will increase as the date of EU-Cyprus accession talks approaches.

    The Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) in a press release said that Turkish violations are "the expected" outcome of the government's "constant compliance, which was sealed with the Madrid communiqui."

    [05] Blair on Cyprus' accession course

    London, 09/01/1998 (ANA-L.Tsirigotakis)

    British Prime Minister Tony Blair underlined that the non-participation of the Turkish Cypriot community in upcoming negotiations will not affect Cyprus' accession process toward the European Union.

    "The non-participation of the Turkish Cypriots in the negotiations will not affect the timetable recently decided in Luxembourg on the course of Cyprus' accession process to the European Union," Mr. Blair told a joint press conference with EU Commission President Jacques Santer, on the occasion of the assumption of the EU presidency by Britain.

    Replying to a question on how the EU reacts to Turkish threats to annex the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus if the accession process proceeds, Mr. Blair said:

    "Our position is clear and it is that which was set out at the recent conference in Luxembourg. The processes for Cyprus' accession will start and this is also clear, it has been scheduled.

    "This position was confirmed in Luxembourg and will be implemented. Naturally, we have stated that we would like Turkish Cypriots to be included in the delegations of Cyprus which will undertake these negotiations, believing that prospects will be far better if there is a settlement to the problem and our efforts are directed at finding a viable solution. However, I repeat that in holding the Presidency we will implement the timetable and the decisions which we took in Luxembourg concerning the accession of Cyprus."

    Speaking about the targets of the British EU Presidency at the beginning of the press conference, Mr. Blair promised that the British presidency will be the presidency of the people in the sense that it will give priority and emphasis to problems concerning the ordinary European citizen such as employment, crime and the environment.

    Mr. Blair included Turkey and the situation with the Kurds among the serious foreign problems which the British Presidency has to face. The Kurdish issue was referred to the EU's General Affairs Committee with which the foreign ministers will preoccupy themselves, while Mr. Blair and President Santer handled the issue of Turkey diplomatically, saying that the EU's intention is to help Turkey to come closer to Europe.

    However, Mr. Santer reminded that Turkey must fulfill the criteria and preconditions requested from the other candidate countries to become a member of the EU.

    "Turkey will have equal treatment with the other countries wishing to join the EU," Mr. Santer stressed.

    [06] Simitis confers with ambassador on Greek-Russian relations

    Athens, 09/01/1998 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday met with new Russian ambassador to Greece, Valentina Matvienko, to discuss the course of bilateral relations in the political and economic sectors, ahead of Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov's visit to Athens on February 16-17.

    Ms Matvienko said that Greek-Russian relations were developing well in all sectors and that her conversation with Mr. Simitis was "constructive and very positive".

    Asked about tension in the Aegean, she told reporters that Russia always favored the resolution of problems with dialogue which will contribute to the normalization of the situation in the southeastern Mediterranean.

    [07] Turkey balks at proposed measures to combat illegal immigration

    Rome, 09/01/1998 (ANA - L. Hatzikyriakos)

    Turkey yesterday refused to sign a communiqui on proposed measures to stem the wave of illegal immigration through its soil toward Europe.

    The communiqui was issued after a meeting of the police chiefs of Italy, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Greece and Turkey.

    According to sources, Turkish police chief Mr. Bilikan disagreed with several points in the communiqui, particularly the one calling on the signatories to promote and implement bilateral agreements regarding the re-entry of illegal immigrants back to their country of origin.

    Greek police chief, Gen. Athanasios Vassilopoulos, stressed that Greece has been calling on Turkey to sign an agreement for the repatriation of illegal immigrants emanating from Turkey, but has so far met with refusal.

    Other points of the communiqui mention that the chiefs agreed to intensify security measures at the external borders, boost checks in border areas, and engage in a systematic exchange of information on illegal immigration. Also, to carry out joint probes into organizations engaged in illegal immigration and in the property of individuals suspect of participation in such organizations, as well as collection, filing and exchange of fingerprints of persons illegally entering a country.

    The Turkish delegation reserved judgment on the communiqui and said it would express its opinion after examining it.

    Gen. Vassilopoulos said he was not particularly pleased with the results of the meeting, as it did not focus on a political examination of the problem, it did not provide a solution to the root of the problem, which is that illegal immigrants originate in Turkey, but if the measures mentioned in the communiqui were applied, it would be a step forward.

    He also stressed that Greece was now vindicated, as when Athens raised the same issue at various international fora two years ago, no other country paid the attention required.

    [08] 13 illegal immigrants arrested

    Athens, 09/01/1998 (ANA)

    Thirteen Iraqi Kurds were found by a military patrol on the island of Hios yesterday morning after they were put ashore during the night by a Turkish fishing boat.

    The boat had been observed fishing near the island the previous evening. At some point the boat neared the coast and the Kurds - eight men, one woman and four children - were put ashore. The crew then resumed fishing off the island.

    Hios Prefect George Kaloudas has expressed fears of a fresh wave of illegal immigrants to the eastern Aegean islands as, although thousands of people are reportedly waiting on the Turkish coast for transport to Greek territory, the merchant marine minis try has not provided the Hios coast guard with extra manpower.

    [09] Political solution needed for Kurdish migrants problem

    Athens, 09/01/1998 (ANA)

    Foreign Under-secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis yesterday called for a political solution to the problem of the mass influx to Europe of Kurds from Turkey and northern Iraq, saying that at the next European Union meeting on the Schengen accord, Greece will press for a solution based on political means, peaceful procedures and dialogue.

    "If there is no political solution, this will continue to be an 'open wound' of serious humanitarian dimensions," he said, speaking at a meeting of the parliamentary committee on ratifying EU trade agreements with Armenia and Georgia. "The problem of Kurdish illegal immigrants is a political one and it cannot be solved overnight simply by giving orders to police," he added.

    Greece is participating in a seven-nation meeting of European states that began in Rome yesterday to search for ways to deal with the problem.

    [10] ... KKE

    Athens, 09/01/1998 (ANA)

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) yesterday expressed solidarity to the people of Kurdistan, who the party says are suffering from the policy of Turkish governments.

    An announcement by KKE said wider support for the struggle of the Kurdish people is necessary so that the Kurdish issue will be resolved on the basis of full restoration of their civil and democratic rights. The government, it added, must take all necessary measures to facilitate the residence and free movement of the Kurdish refugees.

    Referring to the same issue, Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) leader Nikos Constantopoulos proposed an international conference on the Kurdish issue through an initiative by Greece. He was speaking after visiting the Kurds' refugee camp in Penteli.

    [11] Papadopoulos visit to China

    Athens, 09/01/1998 (ANA)

    Interior Minister Alekos Papadopoulos leaves for the People's Republic of China tomorrow on an official visit focusing on efforts to upgrade bilateral relations.

    Mr. Papadopoulos will meet, among others, Chinese Prime Minister Li Peng, and the mayors of Beijing, Zia King-Lin, and of Shanghai, Hu Kuang-Di. He is to sign a memorandum of understanding on co-operation in the fields of public administration and personnel management between the two countries with Personnel Minister Zug Defu.

    [12] V. Papandreou to officially visit Austria

    Vienna, 09/01/1998 (ANA - D. Dimitrakoudis)

    Development Minister Vasso Papandreou will pay a two-day visit here on Monday and Tuesday.

    She is scheduled to hold talks with Austrian National Economy Minister Johannes Farnlaitner, the president of the Federal Economic Chamber, Leopold Mandertaner, and a series of meetings with representatives of major companies as well as the Federation of Austrian Industrialists.

    Talks will focus on such issues as Austria's priorities for when it assumes the European Union's presidency in the second half of 1998, its domestic market, deregulation of the electric power market and interest shown by the Austrian side for the undertaking of major public works projects in Greece.

    A review will also be made of bilateral economic relations as well as an examination of prospects for closer bilateral co-operation in various sectors.

    In the first nine months of 1997, Greece's exports to Austria totaled 1.337 billion Austrian shillings, a decrease of 9.7 per cent compared to the corresponding period in 1996. Imports, however, from Austria reached 2.287 billion shillings, an increase of 6.2 per cent as against the corresponding nine-month period in 1996.

    [13] Clerides says Paphos air base ready

    Nicosia, 09/01/1998 (ANA)

    The Paphos air base is ready and will be fully operational on Jan. 24, Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides said on state television yesterday.

    The military air base will be used by aircraft of the Hellenic Air Force in the context of the joint defense doctrine agreed to between Cyprus and Greece. "The issue of the defense of Cyprus is directly linked to negotiation process for a solution of the Cyprus problem," the Cypriot president said. Mr. Clerides also referred to the prospective purchase of the Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missiles.

    [14] Simitis-Skandalidis meeting

    Athens, 09/01/1998 (ANA)

    Prime Minister and PASOK president Costas Simitis yesterday met with PASOK Secretary Costas Skandalidis, discussing several issues.

    The meeting is in the framework of an effort by Mr. Simitis to meet with all the high-ranking PASOK cadres. Mr. Simitis has already met with PASOK Euro-MP Paraskevas Avgerinos last Friday and with National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos on Wednesday.

    [15] Teachers' groups warn of mobilizations over educational reform

    Athens, 09/01/1998 (ANA)

    Teachers warned the government of new mobilizations yesterday, demanding that proposed educational reform measures not be implemented.

    Teachers and college professors also demanded that a proposed body of supervisors should not be applied.

    Education Minister Gerassimos Arsenis announced last August that teachers will be assessed in their work and if it is proved that they are not properly doing their job they will be dismissed from their post and transferred to another public service.

    He had also announced that a two-year probational service for all newly appointed teachers will be established.

    Mr. Arsenis is expected to release a presidential decree on assessing teachers' federations in the next few days, while teachers and professors have decided to call a rally at the end of the month.

    [16] 'Women's rule for a day' celebrated in E. Macedonia, Thrace

    Athens, 09/01/1998 (ANA)

    Men in the village of Sapes, Rodopi prefecture stayed home to do the housework yesterday as their wives took to the streets for the annual "Rule of Women" festival, celebrated in several villages throughout eastern Macedonia and Thrace.

    Crowds of women wearing masks and costumes circulated through Sapes playing musical instruments, visiting homes, town squares and shops. Their first call was at the local medical center to visit a midwife, known locally as "Babo", who was duly honored for her role in helping new life emerge.

    Celebrations culminated in an all-night party.

    The custom, brought to Sapes earlier this century by refugees from eastern Thrace, celebrates fertility and the role of women in society.

    [17] SAE promotional campaign in US for 2004 Olympics

    Athens, 09/01/1998 (ANA)

    The World Council for Hellenes Abroad (SAE) for the regions of North and South America will begin an information and promotional campaign for the 2004 Olympics in the United States, according to a statement by SAE regional president Christos Tomaras.

    "This move by SAE in the US will include activities whose main purpose will be to publicize the 2004 Olympiad, in order to forge all over the world the true image of the Olympic Games and Greece," Mr. Tomaras said.

    SAE will prepare printed material in English and Spanish presenting the history, tradition and spirit of the Olympic Games in Greece for distribution to the press, schools, universities and sports organizations.

    [18] Pangalos: Athens should propose EU accession talks for early April

    Athens, 09/01/1998 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos yesterday said that Greece should propose that European Union accession talks with candidate countries begin in the first week of April.

    His statement came after his meeting at the foreign ministry with National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, Agriculture Minister Stephanos Tzoumakas, National Economy Under-secretary Christos Pachtas and special aide to the prime minister Nikos Themelis.

    Mr. Pangalos also said that Greece must also propose that issues concerning the European Conference be discussed, as well as Turkey's EU membership possibilities in the body.

    [19] New metro route around Kerameikos

    Athens, 09/01/1998 (ANA)

    The public works ministry and the Attiko Metro firm yesterday decided to alter the third route of the under construction metro so as to protect the Kerameikos archaeological site.

    This change will cost an additional 17 billion drachmas and new geological studies will be needed.

    According to press reports, the third line will start at Syntagma Square, run along Ermou Street, pass under the Votanikos area before following Iera Odos. A new tendering is expected as the previous one is invalid.

    [20] Papantoniou reaffirms Gov't commitment to 'hard drachma'

    Athens, 09/01/1998 (ANA)

    National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou yesterday reaffirmed the government's commitment to a "hard drachma" policy, amid renewed pressure on the Greek currency.

    "A stable drachma is the cornerstone of our economic policy," Mr. Papantoniou said. "The government is determined, as it has shown in the past, to take and to continue to take all the necessary measures to support it".

    He made it clear that he would not hesitate to increase interest rates to support the exchange parity of the Greek currency.

    In earlier statements, Mr. Papantoniou had expressed optimism over the future of the Greek drachma.

    "The drachma is doing well. The situation is under control but, if necessary, the government will intervene," he said.

    The Bank of Greece intervened heavily in the domestic interbank market yesterday to defend the drachma, reducing liquidity and controlling a recent trend of capital outflows.

    The central bank managed to reduce outflows significantly but interbank interest rates moved higher.

    Banking sources reported outflows totaling US$55 million at yesterday's drachma fixing.

    The Greek currency rebounded by 0.15 per cent against the ECU and the deutschmark, recovering 0.10 per cent against the US dollar.

    In the domestic interbank market, a move by the Bank of Greece to raise its discount rate to 23 per cent from 19 per cent pushed rates higher.

    Earlier, government spokesman Demetris Reppas stressed that there was no cause for concern over the latest round of turbulence in the domestic money market.

    Mr. Reppas reiterated that the government would stick to its fiscal and monetary policies and urged all parties involved to contribute to defending the national currency by ensuring stability.

    [21] ... National Bank's Karatzas

    Athens, 09/01/1998 (ANA)

    Meanwhile, National Bank of Greece Governor Theodoros Karatzas appeared optimistic that pressures on the drachma would ease soon.

    "The economy's basic indicators are in their best shape ever, which justifies optimism for the future," he said during a luncheon hosted in Athens by the Foreign Press Association.

    He stressed that the economy does have the strength and the leeway to face the side-effects of the temporary 'defensive' rise in interest rates, which from now on, would be adjusted faster than in the past.

    Regarding the value of the drachma, he said its overvaluation amounted to no more than 2 to 4 per cent, which is not a substantial impediment to the competitiveness of Greek exports.

    Furthermore, Mr. Karatzas stressed that the assumption of market shares in the financial markets of neighboring countries was an important part of the bank's Balkan strategy.

    "The bank has plans for an energetic presence in currency and securities management in the Balkan countries, seeing that after the introduction of the Euro, its comparative advantage inside Greece and in the drachma market will wane," he said.

    [22] Greek stocks in the doldrums over money turmoil, rising rates

    Athens, 09/01/1998 (ANA)

    Greek equities came under strong pressure to end substantially lower on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday.

    Traders said the market was hit by renewed turbulence in the domestic money market and rising interest rates.

    The general index closed 2.39 percent lower at 1,487.08 points.

    Sector indices lost ground. Banks fell 3.02 percent, Insurance eased 2.16 percent, Investments dropped 1.55 percent, Construction plunged 3.50 percent, Industrials were 1.52 percent off, Miscellaneous ended 1.38 percent lower and Holding fell 2.11 percent. Leasing bucked the trend to end 0.18 percent higher.

    Trading was thin with turnover at 11.9 billion drachmas.

    The parallel market index for small cap companies lost 2.12 percent. The FTSE/ASE index for selected blue chips ended 2.64 percent lower at 841.46 points.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 179 to 33 with another 16 issues unchanged.

    Pairis, Levenderis, Mouriadis and Alcar-Aemet scored the biggest percentage gains, while Desmos, Balkan Export and Heliofin suffered the heaviest losses.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 24,100 drachmas, Ergobank at 14,550, Alpha Credit Bank at 16,050, Delta Dairy at 3,160, Titan Cement at 13,250, Intracom at 13,850 and Hellenic Telecommunications Organization at 5,805.

    [23] Drachma movements in 1997

    Athens, 09/01/1998 (ANA)

    The drachma was slightly stronger against most European currencies with the exception of the British pound, but its parity against the US dollar was substantially lower in 1997.

    The Greek currency moved within the targets set by the Bank of Greece to show a 2.07 percent drop against the ECU, after falls of 0.44 and 3.12 percent in 1996 and 1995 respectively.

    The ECU/drachma annual average fixing rate was 308.4 drachmas, up from 301.5 the previous year, a rise of 2.30 percent.

    The DMark depreciated by 0.50 percent against the Greek currency, the French franc was 0.62 percent higher but the pound sterling shot up 13.72 percent reflecting a sharp rise in the British currency in international markets.

    The Swiss franc rose 5.14 percent against the drachma, while the Italian lira fell 0.10 percent.

    The US dollar increased 13.98 percent in 1997, while the Japanese yen fell 0.23 percent in the same period.

    [24] New reforms ahead for ports

    Athens, 09/01/1998 (ANA)

    Greece's two largest ports, Piraeus and Thessaloniki, will be transformed into sociiti anonymes with the prospect of a future flotation, Merchant Marine Minister Stavros Soumakis told parliament yesterday.

    Speaking during discussion of a new bill to reform the merchant marine in the country, Mr. Soumakis stressed that the government did not intend to proceed to a full-scale privatization of major ports.

    The Greek government has decided a characterization of ports in national or local interest and their transfer under local authorities control.

    Mr. Soumakis said that the procedure would be completed by February 28.

    New Democracy party honorary president, Constantine Mitsotakis, in his speech criticized the government's policy on the merchant marine and urged the prime minister to take measures in order to boost the Greek flag's competitiveness.

    [25] Workers strike over privatization of Greece's Mac/Thrace Bank

    Athens, 09/01/1998 (ANA)

    Employees of Greece's Macedonia-Thrace Bank, which is destined for a part-privatization, will hold a 48-hour strike starting on Monday, union officials told a news conference yesterday.

    Unions are asking the government to call off a decision to sell 27.5 percent of the Thessaloniki-based bank's stock.

    The officials said sale of the shares, which belong to National Investment Bank for Industrial Development and the Post Office Savings fund, had not been preceded by a viability study.

    The government had put the future of the bank in jeopardy, arranging the sale in order to create an impression of activity in its privatization plan, the officials claimed.

    [26] Athenians to pay less for household gas

    Athens, 09/01/1998 (ANA)

    Athenians will pay 10-30 percent less for energy when they switch to natural gas from liquified gas, Development Minister Vasso Papandreou told a news conference yesterday.

    The Athens area will eventually be supplied with Russian natural gas by the state-run Public Gas Enterprise from a network currently being built.

    Prices for household consumers will be 130 drachmas a cubic meter from 144 drachmas. Around 7,000 homes are using liquified gas.

    [27] Bourse negotiations with Dane extended

    Athens, 09/01/1998 (ANA)

    Supervised negotiating with the Dane shipping lines has been extended until Feb. 7, according to a decision yesterday by the administrative council of the Athens Stock Exchange.

    The extension was deemed necessary after developments in the company's economic and administrative issues.

    The bourse also approved a request by the main sponsor for an extension of the public registration and introduction date for the company Kyriakoulis Mesogeiakai Krouazierai S.A. onto the stock exchange's parallel market until the end of February.

    [28] Work on new Greek-Bulgarian border crossing

    Athens, 09/01/1998 (ANA)

    Completion of a new border post on the Greek-Bulgarian frontier near the community of Exohi, Drama prefecture will soon be completed, according to Macedonia-Thrace Regional Director Stavros Kambelis.

    New road and customs facilities are projected to cost 2.5 billion drachmas.

    End of English language section.

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