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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 98-01-12

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 1387), January 12, 1998

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


  • [01] Greece reiterates that nat'l airspace extends to 10 miles
  • [02] ... Ankara condemned
  • [03] Stephanopoulos leaves for official visit to India today
  • [04] G. Papandreou-Samaranch meeting
  • [05] Athens terms Turkish claims over WWII history 'miserable insults'
  • [06] ... Greek Jews dispute Ankara's quips
  • [07] ... ND
  • [08] Kranidiotis: Preconditions for Turkish Cypriot involvement in EU talks
  • [09] Greece and other 12 states to sign European ban on human cloning
  • [10] Bomb blasts target tax offices
  • [11] Quake recorded off Zakynthos
  • [12] Three men arrested for smuggling illegals
  • [13] More illegal immigrant arrests
  • [14] Two announce bid for Thessaloniki mayoral race at PASOK meeting
  • [15] Fishermen protest tax measures by blockading Kalymnos, Leros
  • [16] 15-trial period for ban on traffic inside commercial triangle
  • [17] KKE delegation visit Kurdish refugee camp

  • [01] Greece reiterates that nat'l airspace extends to 10 miles

    Athens, 12/01/1998 (ANA)

    National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos on Saturday reiterated that Greece's airspace extends to a 10-mile limit.

    Commenting on statements by US ambassador in Athens Nicholas Burns as regards Greece's airspace limit, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said the "sole criterion for a country's behavior is that imposed by national interest.

    Mr. Burns on Friday reiterated Washington's stance that the limits of each country's airspace should correspond to those of its territorial waters, meaning that the US recognizes a six-mile limit for Greek airspace.

    "No one's view is a criterion for the behavior of a country," the defense minister said, emphasizing that Greece's airspace, as clearly set out in a 1931 presidential decree and valid for decades, stood at the 10-mile limit.

    "If some people, for their own purpose and using their own criteria, want some other limit for Greece, that is their opinion," he said.

    The defense minister was speaking after briefing Greek Eurodeputies on the ministry's defense programs and on initiatives being taken to promote security and stability in the region, as well as specific issues involving neighboring countries.

    [02] ... Ankara condemned

    Athens, 12/01/1998 (ANA)

    In another development yesterday, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos condemned Ankara's policy, saying it not only threatened Greek sovereign rights as well as security, peace, co-operation and stability in the region, but also the United Nations' present structure of international law on which the post-war world stands.

    The defense minister, who was in Thessaloniki for the local PASOK prefectural conference on upcoming municipal and prefectural elections, said that Turkey is challenging the treaties of Lausanne and Paris, which clearly outline Greece's sovereignty.

    He added that according to those treaties all the islands and rocky islets of the Aegean are Greek territories, except those that are within a three-mile zone of the Asia Minor coast and the islands of Imvros and Tenedos.

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said that any Turkish claim beyond the demarcations of treaties is a threat to the national integrity of a country and thus internationally condemned according to UN General Assembly's decisions.

    He added that Turkey is challenging all of the UN's legal precedents, based on international law, while there is an unchallenged, stable, calm and decisive Greek answer both on the political and defense level.

    [03] Stephanopoulos leaves for official visit to India today

    Athens, 12/01/1998 (ANA)

    President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos leaves for India today in an official visit aimed at boosting political and economic ties between the two countries.

    Accompanying Mr. Stephanopoulos, who is the guest of Indian President K.R. Narayanan, are Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, Finance Under-secretary Alekos Baltas and a delegation of leading Greek business representatives. It is the first such visit by a Greek head of state to India.

    Tomorrow, Mr. Stephanopoulos will have talks in New Delhi with Mr. Narayanan, and India's prime minister and parliament speaker.

    He is scheduled to make two speeches on Wednesday outlining economic ties between the two countries and Greece's policies on international issues, while he will also lay the foundation stone of a new building to house the Greek embassy in the Indian cap ital.

    On Thursday, President Stephanopoulos is scheduled to visit the Taj Mahal in Agra. He will travel to Bombay on Friday and to Calcutta on Saturday, leaving for Athens on Sunday.

    Greek and Indian business leaders who met in 1994 had cited healthy prospects for co-operation in tourism, food processing, shipbuilding, construction machinery and education.

    The Indian side was eager to see co-operation in the fields of informatics and telecoms, and among small- to medium-sized enterprises.

    Business leaders accompanying Mr. Stephanopoulos are expected to propose that Greek engineering contractors, many of whom are listed on the Athens bourse, could undertake design and construction of several projects in India.

    [04] G. Papandreou-Samaranch meeting

    Athens, 12/01/1998 (ANA)

    Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou leaves for Lausanne today for talks with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Juan Antonio Samaranch, expected to focus on Athens' proposal for an international armistice during the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

    [05] Athens terms Turkish claims over WWII history 'miserable insults'

    Athens, 12/01/1998 (ANA)

    A Turkish foreign ministry statement characterizing Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos a "descendant of Greek fascism" was sharply rejected by Athens on Saturday as containing "miserable insults and unjustified provocations".

    In a written statement, the Turkish foreign ministry attacked Mr. Pangalos for his statement the previous day, which called on European Union member-states to take a firm stand on what he called the "Kurdish genocide" being carried out by Turkey.

    Replying to Mr. Pangalos' statements, the Turkish foreign ministry claimed that "Greek fascists under the leadership of the likes of Pangalos sent thousands of Greek Jews to death camps".

    In a response, government spokesman Demetris Reppas stated:

    "The only thing Turkey is achieving with such miserable insults and unjustified provocations is to worsen its own position. The sooner it realizes this, the better it will be for itself.

    "As far as its historically unfounded claims and slander against Greeks are concerned, we refer it (Turkey) to yesterday's (Friday's) statement by the Central Jewish Council (of Greece)," Mr. Reppas added.

    The Central Jewish Council issued a statement on Friday after a meeting with Mr. Pangalos, stressing that the organization had "repeat-edly expressed its gratitude to the Greek people and the Greek Orthodox Church for their contribution to saving Greek Jews".

    The Central Jewish Council statement was made in response to yet more claims by the Turkish foreign ministry on Thursday, namely, that during World War II Greek authorities had "willingly handed over Jews" to Nazi occupation troops. "Greeks offered as much help as possible to Jews persecuted (during the Nazi occupation), often endangering their own lives," the Jewish Council's statement read.

    [06] ... Greek Jews dispute Ankara's quips

    Athens, 12/01/1998 (ANA)

    In addition, Jewish groups of Greece again on Saturday rejected the accusations made by the Turkish foreign ministry.

    Thessaloniki Jewish community president Andreas Sefiha told ANA that Greek Jews were grateful to their fellow citizens for the assistance against Nazi persecution, citing resistance by government officials as well as the help of ordinary citizens.

    The northern Greece Jewish leader cited his own personal experience during WWII, in which his whole family was saved by the intervention of Greek Christians, while he declared surprise at the Turkish statement, saying that it was "at best, inaccurate".

    Thessaloniki was a major Sephardic metropolis since the very early 16th century, boasting a more than 50,000-strong community prior to Nazi occupation. During WWII, most of city's Jews were transported to concentration camps in Germany and Poland where they perished.

    [07] ... ND

    Athens, 12/01/1998 (ANA)

    On its part, the main opposition New Democracy party on Saturday reacted sharply to the Turkish ministry's claims, saying Turkey "has already gone beyond the limits even we expect and that the present situation is pitiful".

    Differences existing between ND and the PASOK government over the handling of national issues, the ND statement read, "do not mean that we do not all stand united against Turkish provocations".

    [08] Kranidiotis: Preconditions for Turkish Cypriot involvement in EU talks

    Nicosia, 12/01/1998 (ANA)

    Foreign Under-secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis, in an interview with the Cypriot daily "Simerini", said that any Turkish Cypriot involvement in Cyprus' EU accession talks must not contravene UN resolutions and lend any legality to the Turkish Cypriot pseudo-state or Turkish occupation.

    Mr. Kranidiotis set two preconditions for the Turkish-Cypriot involvement in accession talks:

    First, that they accept Cyprus' European Union orientation and prospects.

    Secondly, that they accept to be part of the official Cypriot delegation.

    He added that further proposals to the Turkish Cypriot side on the issue would be prepared.

    The Greek under-secretary added that the Nicosia and Athens governments must work together on both the political and the technical aspects to accession talks.

    Mr. Kranidiotis said that there will be two parts to accession talks, namely, an EU Council of Ministers decision on the Commission's recommendation, followed by negotiations of the 15 EU member-states with Cyprus.

    Cyprus is one of six counties to begin accession talks with the EU on March 30.

    [09] Greece and other 12 states to sign European ban on human cloning

    Paris, 12/01/1998 (Reuters/ANA)

    Thirteen countries will sign today the first binding international ban on human cloning as controversy over such experiments heats up.

    The 13 countries are among the 40 members of the Council of Europe which says another seven member states are considering endorsing the ban which will bind signatories as soon as it has been ratified in five states.

    The text, which is an addition to the European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, slaps a total ban on human cloning although it allows the cloning of cells for research purposes.

    The signing ceremony will take place at the French Foreign Ministry in Paris after President Jacques Chirac opens a conference of Europe's national ethics committees.

    The signatories are Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.

    Fears about the dangers of genetic engineering are rising as human cloning, the exact reproduction of a human being, appears to be at hand.

    President Bill Clinton has called for a five-year ban on human cloning experiments. US physicist Richard Seed stirred up renewed debate by saying he was ready to clone a human and could do so within 18 months if he raised enough money.

    Britain has been at the forefront of the cloning debate after scientists in Scotland made worldwide headlines by cloning Dolly the sheep.

    Britain's Independent on Sunday newspaper said experiments in human cloning could begin in Britain as early as next year.

    [10] Bomb blasts target tax offices

    Athens, 12/01/1998 (ANA)

    Two separate bomb explosions in Athens yesterday evening rocked the finance ministry's data processing center (KEPYO) and the 7th tax bureau office in the Kallithea district.

    Unidentified callers warned the "Eleftherotypia" daily and the "Star" television station of the pending bomb attacks, allowing police to evacuate both buildings and block traffic in the areas.

    According to reports, both time bombs caused powerful blasts, with the first at KEPYO recorded at 8:04 p.m. and the second 14 minutes later at the Kallithea office.

    Authorities said the explosions may be related to several false bomb threats received on Friday by the national economy minister's office.

    No injuries were reported in either blast.

    [11] Quake recorded off Zakynthos

    Athens, 12/01/1998 (ANA)

    An earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale was recorded at 9:22 p.m. on Saturday in the sea region south of the Ionian island of Zakynthos, 250 kilometers southwest of Athens.

    [12] Three men arrested for smuggling illegals

    Athens, 12/01/1998 (ANA)

    Three members of an alleged smuggling ring were charged yesterday with attempting to transport 42 Iraqi illegal immigrants into northern Greece, after being arrested by police in Evros prefecture.

    According to reports, Asan Hasan, 25, and Irakleios Telemahidis, 35, both from Sapes, Rodopi prefecture, as well as 29-year-old Turkish national Ahmad Farhand, were arrested as they attempted to transport the illegals. A fourth man, identified only as Aras, fled to Turkey.

    The Iraqis said that they paid US$42,000 to Aras in order to be smuggled into Greece, while two of the arrested suspects admitted that they received US$12,900 from Aras, police said.

    The Iraqis also claimed that Istanbul-based smugglers currently charge up to US$1,500 per person for transport from Turkey to Greece.

    [13] More illegal immigrant arrests

    Athens, 12/01/1998 (ANA)

    Samos police detained 13 Iraqi illegal immigrants on Saturday on the eastern Aegean island's Prasos peninsula.

    The eight men, two women and three children had been left on the island's shores by a Turkish smuggler early Saturday morning, according to police.

    The 13 were taken to a local detention center for illegal immigrants.

    [14] Two announce bid for Thessaloniki mayoral race at PASOK meeting

    Athens, 12/01/1998 (ANA)

    Kalamaria Mayor Thrasyvoulos Lazarides and Thessaloniki municipal councilman Babis Barbounakis announced their nominations for the Thessaloniki mayor's seat at a PASOK prefectural committee meeting in the city yesterday.

    Both National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos and PASOK Secretary Costas Skandalidis attended the meeting.

    The committee yesterday authorized PASOK organisations in the prefecture to submit nominations for the local elections.

    Mr. Skandalidis said that decisions of the committee were unanimously approved and are consistent with those adopted by the PASOK central committee.

    [15] Fishermen protest tax measures by blockading Kalymnos, Leros

    Athens, 12/01/1998 (ANA)

    Vehicle ferries were prevented from docking in Kalymnos and Leros yesterday after local fishermen and sponge divers blockaded the two Dodecanese islands' ports to protest against new tax government measures.

    Some 60 fishermen launched a blockade on Leros Sunday in the wake of the mobilization on Kalymnos, which continued despite talks on Saturday to try to resolve the dispute.

    The ferries denied access were the Ialysos, Rodanthi, Leros and Dimitroula, which sail the Piraeus-Dodecanese routes.

    The blockades followed talks in Athens with Finance Under-secretary George Drys over the tax measures, the Kalymnos' fishermen and sponge divers began their action despite an agreement to resume talks at the end of the month.

    The fishermen and sponge divers want to be reinstated in the farming sector in order to avoid keeping credit and debit balances. According to the mayor of Kalymnos, Mr. Drys told protesters' representatives that the shift in status was banned under a European Union directive.

    [16] 15-trial period for ban on traffic inside commercial triangle

    Athens, 12/01/1998 (ANA)

    A pilot program barring the entrance of unauthorized vehicles in most of central Athens' commercial and historical triangle is set to begin tomorrow for a 15-day trial period, according to the environment, town planning and public works ministry.

    The triangle, which will be sealed off by an electronic card entrance system, borders Stadiou Avenue, Athenas Avenue, Syntagma Square and Mitropoleos Street.

    Ministry officials will provide information to citizens, as 323 special entry cards have already been given to residents within the triangle.

    Access will be open to all vehicles on Evripidou, Sophocleous and Aristidou streets, while taxis will be allowed on Karagiorgis Servias, Lekka, Praxitelous, Chrysospiliotissas and Vissis streets.

    [17] KKE delegation visit Kurdish refugee camp

    Athens, 12/01/1998 (ANA)

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Parliamentary representative Babis Aggourakis yesterday headed a party delegation on a visit to a Kurdish refugee camp near Mount Penteli.

    Mr. Aggourakis said that the struggle of the Kurdish refugees must be supported and coordinated with Greek labor unions.

    He added that KKE will apply more pressure on the government for improvement of the living conditions of the refugees, saying present living conditions are unacceptable.

    Mr. Aggourakis also noted that KKE will spare no effort to help the Kurdish refugees acquire political asylum and become legal immigrants.

    End of English language section.

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